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Report puts $797 million price tag on Rim fire’s damage to benefits of nature

Modesto Bee: Until they burned, oaks and pines in the Rim fire area absorbed carbon dioxide and emitted oxygen, a useful service for the planet. The massive blaze reduced the value of this function by as much as $797 million, according to an initial estimate by economists who specialize in accounting for "ecosystem services," or what nature provides to humans. Before the giant fire started Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest, the growing vegetation stored carbon that otherwise would rise into the...