Elk NetworkStudy: Wildfires Don’t Release as Much Carbon Dioxide as Estimated

General | June 7, 2019

A new study indicates forest fires in the western portions of the United States do not release as much carbon dioxide as believed which, in turn, leads to faulty on-the-ground forest management decisions.

“Part of the reason we’re talking about this is that there’s a narrative that has circumvented science,” Jeff Stenzel, lead researcher and doctoral student at the University of Idaho, told the Associated Press. “What that can lead to is management decisions that can exacerbate rather than mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

Using information gathered from wildfires in California and Oregon, the study found only about five percent of the biomass burned in a fire compared to estimates of 30 percent and public perceptions of 100 percent.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that active forest management not only benefits overall forest health but enhances wildlife habitat.

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(Photo source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)