Malcolm North | We The Forest Profile


As a researcher in forestry for 35 years, Malcolm North has primarily focused on trying to understand how western conifers have evolved, and how their ecological functions affect the composition of the ecosystem and wildlife habitat. With publications in more than 150 papers, his research has helped forest managers make better decisions in regard to impacts of forest activities on ecosystem health. North has tremendously contributed to the development of new forest plans, some of which have been directly integrated into some of California's National Forests.

North notes that the key component to restoring forests that are prone to massive wildfires is to reduce densities and fuel loads, through a combination of understory thinning treatments combined with mechanical fires. In doing so, the forest system can become more resilient and regenerative.

Even though he has seen some progress in collaborative efforts within the forest planning process, he notes that if we don't change our approach to forest planning, generations will grow up without large trees, and some forests will disappear entirely.

Malcolm North is a Research Scientist with the Forest Service and Professor in Plant Science at the University of California, Davis. The Malcolm North Lab at UC Davis is actively working in areas that include the ecological effects of fuels reduction treatments and the ecological restoration of fire-suppressed forests.



We the Forest offers information and personal stories from those working in the forest products industry, highlighting the role they play in solving forest health problems and providing a stage for their voices. 

We are dedicated to building common ground on the many sides of the timber production conversation, showing sustainable forest-first practices can provide solutions for catastrophic wildfire prevention, bug and disease reduction, climate change mitigation, and resource stewardship.

Ensuring our forests are around for years to come is something that should be our utmost priority. Through education like this, we can come together to understand the importance of restoration and collaboration to protect our forests from catastrophic wildfire, and create a more sustainable reality. 

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