Virtual walk through the woods offered |

Virtual walk through the woods offered

Computer software allowing users to take a virtual walk through a Lake Tahoe forest – in the present and the past – is being developed to help people understand how the basin has changed.

“I’m really a firm believer people don’t have a real understanding of the forest and how it works,” said Alan Taylor. “I think they need to be educated, and that’s why we’re doing this – to help people learn.”

Taylor, an associate professor of geography from Penn State University, has spent the last several summers researching the fire history of the forest on Tahoe’s east shore. His data shows that the forests of the present – densely populated with same-sized trees – are different from those 150 years ago, which were more open and had a variety of tree sizes.

The program should be developed and turned over to the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit by Sept. 31, according to Taylor.

Eventually, computer terminals at Forest Service stations will provide the virtual tour to visitors and residents. The program will be available on the World Wide Web, too.

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