Fires and drought have transformed New Mexico forests

Las Cruces News: Gambel oak and other shrubs whose roots survived a lightning-sparked wildfire in 2013 sprout on many slopes once dominated by ponderosa pines. Black, mangled masses of wood and dead barley plants loom over the new growth, which also includes aspens, grass and wildflowers. The barley grew last fall from seeds the U.S. Forest Service dropped to minimize erosion after the Silver Fire. Pines survived in many areas within the 139,000-acre burn scar. But in other places, the trees were incinerated --......

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