Forest Under Stress (FUS) is a short film about Rachel Lee Hall, a longtime resident of and advocate for the Southern Oregon forest health, and her observations regarding the forest’s diminishing resiliency caused by the continuous disruption in the hydrological water cycle during the last four decades. This disruption adversely affects root systems, aquifer recharge, and in turn, the terrestrial story, causing brownout and volatile fuel load ignited by man or nature resulting in mega wildfires. Rachel understands that nature will correct this imbalance with wildfire, until the fuel load is exhausted as outlined in What Happened to Southern Oregon Forests in Spring 2020.
The story takes place in Southern Oregon’s forest plagued by decades of competitive vegetative buildup, which contributes to chronic soil dehydration and follows a trio of mycelium fungi as they struggle to broker an exchange for nutrients, minerals, and moisture to the desperate root system in exchange for carbohydrates. Through the eyes of the mycelia, the film encourages viewers to consider factors that caused stress in the terrestrial story, which helped create the conditions for devastating wildfires. This story asks the audience to remember this clarion call: Remember, the forest is more than just trees.
Forest Under Stress, the pamphlet, and Forest Under Stress the movie, cohesively offers a vision of what a resilient, healthy forest looks like and defines a path to reach that goal via active forest management replacing passive hands-off maintenance. As such, we hope you will learn from the mycelia whose journey of discovery takes place in the layers of soil below the forest floor in Southern Oregon by Rachel — the forest whisperer who listened to what the forest told her.
For more information, visit https://www.forestunderstress.com/