The other day I was traveling home from work and now that the leaves are down I was noticing the incredible amount of standing deadwood and even more of it just lying around. I live in a woodland area and have also noted that this deadwood situation seems to be getting exaggerated each year for the last several years.
Elms and ash seem to be the most susceptible. Some say this is a result of climate change and the expansion of the range for Emerald Ash Borers. But I’ve noted more dead cedars, oaks, maples, jack pine and hickory trees too. My point is that there is a lot of fuel in our woodlands and woodlots and we are probably a prime candidate for some serious wildfires.
Considering the last few highly destructive fire seasons in the western part of the country there is a growing concern for the loss of high value real estate due to wildfires. Adding to the load of an already overtaxed economy is the shortage of building materials in our supply chains. These things when coupled with hundreds of billions in insurance losses illustrates that a time has come to think differently about how we can mitigate this problem.
During a recent NAR Sustainability Advisory Group email exchange the Chair of the group Eileen Oldroyd shared with us the Urban Land Institute Firebreak Wildfire Resilience Strategies for Real Estate study in which her own California community backyard was included. Now that’s hitting close to home!
Perhaps, our members would be interested in reviewing this information and adding its unique findings and strategies to the arsenal of information we can bring to bear for our own regional purposes. I offer a link to this document here for your edification and suggest we share it with our communities. There are clearly things we can do now that could drastically eliminate pain, loss and suffering for many woodland dwellers in our own lovely Northern Michigan.