Forestry Friday … Drought!

Lassen Peak, Mt Lassen, drought, forestry

I took this picture of Lassen Peak on January 8th, 2013.

In California we’re in another severe drought.   I took these two pictures of Lassen Peak in January, one this year and the other last year.   You can see the stark difference.  Lassen Peak is the southerly most of the major cascade volcanoes and is 10,463 feet (3,189 M) tall.  Last year we had over 20 inches of rain at this time, and this year we have less than 4 inches.  The snow pack is almost nonexistent.  Cattle ranchers are having a hard time.  There’s no new grass and the foothills are as brown as July.  The price of hay is going to go through the roof forcing many of the ranchers to sell off their cattle.  Our ski resorts are having a terrible winter due to the lack of snow. It’ll be a tough year for these folks and the long term forecast is grim.  Expect the California water war to once again rear it’s ugly head.

Lassen Peak, Mt Lassen, drought

Lassen Peak taken on January 22nd, 2014.

This summer we are expecting our share of challenges in the woods.  Drought stress will cause tree die off.  This will create prime conditions for bark beetle infestation as the trees become more and more stressed.  Worst of all will be the fire danger.  I think red flag fire warnings will be the theme of the this summer.

Blitz, golden retriever

Blitz rolls in the snow while she still can.

64 thoughts on “Forestry Friday … Drought!

  1. We’re having strange weather all over the world. I think the UK may have received your share of snowfall as rain…they’ve had twice as much rain in January as normal since records began a century ago, the southern lowlands have been under floodwater for over a month with more rain forecast this weekend. I sincerely hope things don not turn out as bad for you as your are anticipating.

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    • It will be real to everyone in a few months. I think conserving water has already started in some areas. It is unfortunate that the State hasn’t prepared for this with more water storage opportunities. We know these droughts come along periodically, but we’re never properly prepared.

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  2. This is a great post. I think it helps for those of us who live in California to have a visual cue of just how dire this drought is. We passed Shasta on a recent trip and a large part of it is empty, other parts startling shallow.

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  3. Climate change is upon us and those folks that deny the situation exists have their heads in the sand. Texas was in a severe drought for several years and then this past summer/fall we began getting relief in all parts of Texas, At least that is my understanding. In the East there is too much snow and then come spring there will be severe flooding. Scientists need to find a way of storing all the run off and then of transporting the water to places that are in a drought. It would not help the forests or range land but it would help the cities and those that irrigate the crops.

    Love the pic of Blitz in the snow.

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    • I have to say that I know the climate changes, but I’m not convinced that we have much ability to affect it, inadvertantly or on purpose. Although, maybe I’m wrong and it is being affected That being said, the government must be behind it, because no else could make this big of mess of it. 😉

      We have cyclical drought in California, but this one looks real bad. The State has had all kinds of plans to improve water storage, but instead of doing that we’re build a bullet train. Our priorities are messed upl

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  4. It is a worry, isn’t it – here in Sydney we have had the driest January for many years, and the farmers out west are doing it tough. All the people on the land around the world need to be fully prepared for difficult times ahead. Do hope you suddenly get a few downpours!

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