Here are more pictures from forest stands that have completely succumbed to conifer encroachment. Prior to fire exclusion, these stands were dominated by California Black Oak. Now, all that is left are a few hold outs which are more or less walking dead in this forest. As you can see, many of the large oak stems left are in serious stages of decay and will likely be on the ground within the next 10 years.
In Humboldt County, our true oak component is a relatively small portion of our vast forest resource (10-15%), however its value is much more than its spatial area. Most of these woodlands are old and support a diverse array of species such as big game, migrating tropical birds, and a host of small mammals and insects that all contribute to our forests food web.
Much of the renaming oak woodlands are on a rapid trajectory to a similar fate as the stands pictured above. Sadly our forest regulation and policy is preventing widespread treatment of encroached woodlands. If I was to imagine something the Board of Forestry could do, it would be to create a special designation for oak woodlands in CA, allowing conditional permitting for management within woodlands. This means recognizing the private and public benefit of managing for forest resources that are not centered on forest products (MSP).