OrCP Webinar, Thursday, October 29th 2020 2:00-3:30 PM PST:
Fish and Fire: Time for A New Perspective?
Gordon Reeves, Emeritus Fish Ecologist, PNW Research Station, US Forest Service
Fire has been assumed to have negative effects on fish and their aquatic ecosystems. One primary reason for this is the perspective that aquatic ecosystems are stable through time, returning to an equilibrium condition shortly after disturbance. However, a dynamic perspective of aquatic ecosystems has emerged in recent years which view disturbances, such as fire, as an integral component of aquatic. Also, several recent studies on the effect of fire on fish and aquatic ecosystems have found that native fish are well adapted to changes resulting from fire, and not necessarily affected negatively. These present the opportunity to consider adjustments to existing institutional management policies and practices to the extent feasible. It will also require convincing the public and interested parties about the validity of the new perspective and provide them an understanding of the implications to policy and practices. This presentation examines the new perspective and the challenges of incorporating it, or some part of it, into policies, practices, and public perceptions and the consequences of not being able to make these changes.