Biochar is a form of charcoal sometimes used as a soil amendment in agriculture. But that’s really only half the story. It’s produced when organic waste material, such as forest slash, is combusted in the presence of limited oxygen. Though often described as a soil amendment, in Pacific Northwest forests it might be better thought of as a standard component of soil ― that is now missing or depleted from many forests in the Pacific Northwest. Although we may associate fires and fire-adapted landscapes with the eastern Cascades, we know from oral and written history, dendrochronology, and sediment cores that forests west
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