Forestry and Forest Decline
New research shows that the most significant current threat to western dry forests is from insect outbreaks and droughts, not wildfires; and historically abundant small trees offer the greatest hope for forest survival and recovery after these events.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-bet-hedgint-forest-resilience-climate-change-threats.html#jCp
GR: The researchers conducting this study assumed that the U. S. Forest Service’s long-standing practice of paying contractors to remove small trees was intended to reduce forest fire damage. Actually, the principal reason may have been to speed the growth of harvestable trees. Thus, removing the small trees that help the forest recover from drought and disease wasn’t done in a misguided attempt to save the forest–it wasn’t a mistake at all, it was done to help timber companies harvest as much timber in the shortest amount of time as possible.