Searching for the Gold Spot: The Wild After Wildfire

30 min. Maya Rani Khosla, dist. by Green Planet Films, www.greenplanetfilms.org. 2018. DVD UPC 714497274461. $39; acad. libs. $99. Public performance; SDH subtitles. ENVIRONMENT/NAT HIST
OrangeReviewStarThis well-produced DVD convincingly supports the position that burned forests should be left alone to revert naturally to their original state. By way of contrast, the knee-jerk reaction standard procedure is to log them, there being a widely held and erroneous prejudice that they are useless. Here, 11 experts, supported by the opinion of 285 scientists, recommend letting these areas regenerate on their own. One sees these individuals in the field and as speakers. Shown are 28 bird species as well as deer, butterflies, bobcats, squirrels, chipmunks, and many more attracted to these burned areas, called snag forest, that comprise hundreds of thousands of acres, mostly in the West. The narration and cinematography are excellent, including scenes of logging operations, landscapes, interviews, and a tactic to protect houses in case of fire. The background music is unobtrusive and attractive. Gold spot refers to the yellow crown of the Black-backed Woodpecker, a species especially dependent on burned forests.
VERDICT Especially relevant in view of recent widespread fires and of compelling interest to naturalists, the logging industry, land managers, and the general public. Most highly recommended.
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