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Camp ’70

August 3, 2022
Men next to a sign and cabins

While most alumnus highlight the year they graduated from college, former
Cal forestry students often celebrate the year they went to the UC Berkeley
Summer Camp. Summer Camp is an intense introduction to the science of
forestry, covering everything from tree, plant, and soils identification, to
basic forest ecology, watershed management, and silviculture. In 1970, a
diverse group of sometimes long-haired and idealist students began their
forestry professions by attending Summer Camp. This was a period of
social unrest (e.g., Vietnam, Cambodia, Peoples’ Park, Civil Rights
Movement, First Earth Day). The forestry program attracted many because
it had the best ecology program on campus. It was also a close-knit oasis
within the larger Berkeley community, with students and faculty knowing
each other on a first name basis. Fifty year later Camp 1970 members
have reconnected through an ongoing Zoom conversation about forest
wildfires. Most Camp ’70 members bring years of experience as
professional foresters with federal and state agencies, private industry,
universities, and other research and management groups. The current
outlook for forests is grim. Mega fires are becoming an accepted norm.
Twenty-percent of the large beloved Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron
giganteum) were lost to wildfires in just one year. On National Forests tree
mortality now dramatically exceeds timber harvest, net tree growth has
plummeted, and the combined effects on wildfire risk and carbon
sequestration are negative. Based our experience with forests and fire, this
group has developed a position paper highlighting the need to manage
forests in the face of unacceptable fuel loads and tree densities
0/). We urge other Cal alumni who love California and western forests to
read this position paper and join us to take positive actions to protect the
future of those forests.
George Ice, Ph.D.; B.S. 72, M.S. 73 for Camp70

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