It is obvious to anyone who spends much time on the bike trail or other parts of the parkway that fires have increased and are causing the loss of many mature cottonwoods and other important vegetation. There are several extensive burned areas at Sutter's Landing Park and in many other areas along the river. This needs attention and questions are being raised including a proposal to start a task force to work on the problem. A secondary question has come up about whether or not the extensive stands of wild grape could contribute to the intensity of these fires or cause other losses to cottonwoods and other vegetation sometimes heavily covered by this native species known to be important for wildlife in the area.
I made an informal review of wild grape cover along the American River and nearby section of the Sacramento River recently. Here are some preliminary thoughts and observations about whether these or other vines are causing habitat destruction along the river. Wild grape along the river
We need to be able to gather more information on the causes and solutions for the increase fires along the river. This would also be an opportunity to learn more about the role wild grape may play in and around these burned areas as well as other areas along the parkway. We can all pay more attention to these questions and look for solutions too.