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Rim Fire recovery efforts focus of public event
The 2013 Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest burned nearly 371 square miles one of the largest wildfires in California history and cost $81 million to fight. - photo by Photo Contributed

Although it has been over a year since the Rim Fire devastated the Tuolumne River Basin, surrounding areas are still recovering from damage dealt to the over 400 square feet of land that was charred in the blaze.

As an effort to enlighten the public about cooperative restoration efforts that are currently underway, the Columbia College Foundation is hosting “Looking Forward: Rim Fire Recovery” as part of its community lecture series.

“This is a way to reach out beyond our campus borders into the community to provide information on what is happening on the ground to help get the forest back into recovery mode,” said CCF President Stephanie Suess.

The evening program will be moderated by Columbia College Natural Resources professor Dr. Tom Hofstra. Jeanne Higgins, the new Stanislaus National Forest supervisor, will be featured as the lecture’s special guest.

Yosemite-Stanislaus Collaborative Co-Chairs Mike Albrecht of Sierra Resource Management and John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center will be heading the panel discussion that includes leading experts from the timber, ranching, environmental groups and public agencies for wildlife and land management will be in attendance.

Confirmed speakers include Nathan Graveline from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Forest Service hydrologist and Burned Area Emergency Response team specialist Mary Moore, United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service forest specialist Matt McNicol, and Tim Tate from Sierra Pacific Industries.

During the event, speakers will highlight the ongoing impacts of the Rim Fire, as well as the recovery efforts that are currently underway.

“People who attend this event will see how a group of individuals has come together to make progress towards recovery,” added Seuss. “However, we still have a long way to go and we want the community to be aware of that.”

The free lecture will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call 585-5055.