- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - A national forest in central Oregon is planning to remove young juniper trees that are crowding out other vegetation without natural fires to suppress them.

The Bend Bulletin reports (https://bit.ly/2gsYQt1 ) that the Ochoco National Forest wants to remove the juniper trees from about 2,000 acres northeast of Prineville. The project, which is contingent on funding, would spare older-growth juniper trees.

The forest’s natural resources technician, Tony Spitzack, says fire is natural part of the ecosystem that normally burns the junipers and leaves plenty of space for the region’s more hardy dry pines. Decades of fire suppression, however, have allowed junipers to grow unchecked.

Spitzack says junipers don’t go dormant in the winter, so they continue using water, which puts other vegetation at a disadvantage.

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com


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