Edward Smith

Forest Ecologist
[email protected]

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Program, Edward is leading efforts to increase the quality and scale of ecological restoration of forests in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He brings analytical skills, vegetation modeling, people skills, and pragmatic experience in prescribed burning and forest management to the collaboration to troubleshoot complex issues. He is working to quantify ecosystem service benefits of healthy forests as a result of improved forest management, with an emphasis on biodiversity value, water quality and quantity, and stable carbon.

Edward has worked for the Conservancy since 1996 years in forest ecology, grazing management, grassland ecology, and the mechanics of quality collaborative processes. He received his M.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, studying the nitrogen dynamics—of intact and disturbed forests—in belowground processes. He received his B.A. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, Revelle College.

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2023 | Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Exploring interacting effects of forest restoration on wildfire risk, hydropower, and environmental flows

Benjamin P. Bryant, Tessa Maurer, Phillip C. Saksa, John D. Herman, Kristen N. Wilson, Edward Smith

The authors of this study analyzed how wildfires and forest restoration, specifically thinning and prescribed fire being implemented in the French Meadows Project in the central Sierra Nevada, could impact streamflow, hydropower generation, and ecological flows for a threatened frog (Foothill yellow legged frogs). By…

2017 | Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Regional Prioritization for Forest Restoration across California's Sierra Nevada

Rodd Kelsey, Edward Smith, Tanushree Biswas, Chris McColl, Kristen Wilson, Dick Cameron

This report provides a systematic regional-scale assessment of biodiversity, fire regime change, and fire risk to infrastructure of forested watersheds across the Sierra Nevada and prioritizes watersheds for forest restoration where the greatest risk reduction to biodiversity and human infrastructure can be achieved. For priority…