Keeping California Forests and Woodlands Healthy

An oak woodland in California.

California's forests play a critical role in providing ecosystem services such as fresh air, clean water, timber, and spaces for cultural and recreational opportunities. From the open, grassy hillsides of blue oak woodlands, to the park-like settings of ponderosa forests, to the damp and foggy groves of towering coastal redwoods, each forest type is unique and has its own climate stressors and management needs. 

The Science Advisory Panel of the California Governor’s Forest Management Task Force, in collaboration with the USDA California Climate Hub and USGS Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, developed a series of briefs on healthy forests. These briefs were intended to communicate each ecosystems' general physical appearance and summarize critical processes that serve a myriad of ecological functions that contribute to keeping these forests and woodlands intact. We hope they help communicate example desirable conditions for managers' and private landowners' use.

Covering blue oak woodlands, ponderosa pine forests, and coastal redwood forests, each brief characterizes healthy forest attributes, their ecological function, and key stressors affecting forest health. 

To read more about each of these, check out the briefs!

Healthy Forests: Ponderosa Pine

Healthy Forests: Blue Oak Woodland

Healthy Forests: Coastal Redwood