For thousands of years, fire has played an essential role in sustaining life within California's Sierra Nevada forests. And few species can tell that story as well as the rare black-backed woodpecker.
Black-backeds are a keystone species because they're among the first birds to arrive on the post-fire scene and, unlike most birds, are capable of creating holes in the hard bark of the burned, dead trees. These holes, in which the woodpeckers nest and raise their young, are eventually used as shelter by many other birds and even small mammals.
Unfortunately the Forest Service recently issued a proposal to log much of this important and rare kind of habitat in the King fire area of the Eldorado National Forest. For a few bucks, this logging would disrupt the natural cycle of regrowth by removing the standing dead trees.
July 1, 2015 Action Alert ID# 242
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