Diverse lineup for forest conference | TheUnion.com

Diverse lineup for forest conference

Some of America’s most thoughtful observers of the Sierra forest will gather in Grass Valley Jan. 25-26 for a free public conference, its organizers say.

They hope the conference, “A Conversation About the Forest,” will provide another opportunity for the communities of the Sierra to learn about the forest and participate in decision-making for its future.

Environmental, timber industry and community groups are co-sponsoring the conference. It will be conducted at Nevada Union High School, 11761 Ridge Road in Grass Valley. Sessions will run from 7-10 p.m. on Jan. 25 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 26.

Gary Snyder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who lives in the forest of the Yuba River watershed, will welcome participants.

Among the speakers will be:

— George Gruell, a forest historian whose recent photographs of many Sierra locations first photographed in the 1800s help researchers see changes in the forest;

— Fred Swanson, a team leader at Oregon’s Andrews Experimental Forest and an expert on ecosystems and sustainability;

— Michael Barbour of the University of California at Davis, whose research interests include changes in the Sierra forests during the past 200 years;

— Jo Ann Fites, a U.S. Forest Service ecologist and specialist on current conditions in Sierra forests;

— James Bowyer, a professor at the University of Minnesota who is known for his thinking about the global implications of sustainable forestry.

Sponsors of the conference include South Yuba River Citizens League, Sierra Pacific Industries, the Tahoe National Forest, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Nevada County Land Trust, The Union and the Yuba Watershed Institute.

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