ForestWatch makes case against Pine Mountain fuels reduction project

web pvh Baker and cheatgrass

Ojai Valley News photos by Perry Van Houten 

Bryant Baker of Los Padres ForestWatch with cheatgrass, a highly flammable invasive that thrives on the firebreak.


Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News senior reporter

On Pine Mountain, Bryant Baker, conservation director for Los Padres ForestWatch, peeled some bark from a dead pine tree Nov. 8 to show the “galleries” where bark beetles had been.

The “snag” likely died within the past six years and was felled, Baker said, but there’s a misconception that bark beetles alone are killing the trees.

“It’s really that the drought is making the trees susceptible to bark beetles,” he said. The trees aren’t able to produce enough pitch, or resin, to push the beetles out.

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