A new report has revealed that a mega drought poses a significant threat to the survival of the Ponderosa Pine Forest, as the absence of monsoon rains intensifies the drying out of the woodlands.

Driven by a passion for the outdoors and deep concern for the natural world, researcher Brandon Strange has embarked on a quest to understand the challenges faced by the Ponderosa Forest.

When I was a kid, I kind of recognized the intrinsic beauty or value of nature in general, Strange said. I grew up in the Midwest hunting and fishing and stuff.

In the vastness of the iconic pine forest, a battle for survival is currently underway.

“They are not faring well,” Strange remarked based on the research.

The recent study which was spearheaded by Strange, who has a doctorate in Natural Resources, has shed light on the severe consequences of a 23-year mega drought on the forest’s ecosystem.

The study focused on the Four Corners region of the Ponderosa.

What were actually finding is that forests that receive a lot of precipitation from the monsoon, theyre doing okay so they get enough precipitation to kind of offset some of the drought stress,” Strange said.

While this may offer some hope for certain sections of the forest, the situation remains dire for areas that are not influenced by the monsoon rains.

“The forest outside of the monsoon, they are looking more and more each year like theyre headed towards mortality or dying off,” Strange warned.

However, even for the Ponderosa pines that do benefit from the monsoon rainfall, Strange cautions that this alone may not be sufficient to save them if the mega drought continues to worsen.