It found that a tree’s growth rate increases with its size, in some cases adding the mass of a small tree every year.
That has huge implications for the amount of carbon dioxide an older tree can absorb.
“One of the analogies I use is if you’re managing a sports team, you’ve got to know who your star players are." says forest ecologist Nathan Stephenson with the USGS, and the study’s lead author.
"This would be the equivalent of discovering that your 90-year-old players are the stars of the team," he says.
A program will begin soon in the Eldorado National Forest to remove live or dead vegetation to prevent the spread of wildfires.
The Sacramento Suburban Water District is asking customers to voluntarily cut outdoor watering to one day a week this fall as other water providers move to mandatory restrictions.
The increase in the number of wildfires in California and the western U.S. may partly be caused by climate change.
The San Joaquin Valley enjoyed three weeks of healthy air in July for the first time in 20 years.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping in the state.