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SAF National Convention
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SAF National Convention Archives
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Water Management and Inventory and Monitoring Providing Needed Data to Decision MakersForest management has long identified with the production of water as a fundamental human need. The creation of the earliest United States forest reserves around 1905-1910 codified this need in their enabling legislation and societal discussions of values at that time. Congressional direction for administration of the forest reserves, now called national forests, began in 1897 with passage of the Organic Administration Act. One of the defined purposes for which forest lands were set aside from settlement was “securing favorable conditions of water flow” (Glasser, 2007). The intrinsic and aesthetic human needs for forests and water, with working ecological systems of natural resistance to erosion and soil loss demonstrate that “Trees Are the Answer” and watershed management is complimentary to sustainable active forest management. Inventory and Monitoring gives all land management agencies critical information, GIS layers, and location details to both quantify and characterize the landscape. The National Park Service has supported a GIS enabled vegetation mapping collection since 1994 when it teamed up with ESRI and the Nature Conservancy to map 5 prototype Parks. Successes include completed mapping of 10 million acres, 8.5 million acres underway in 2019, 12 million acres of projects to yet to complete. The National Park Service identified a critical need for future vegetation data. What data, when, and at what scale are critical inventory elements. The synthesis of these data with potential water improvements, wildlife habitat, and fuels concerns are active and needed management decision making elements. These serve public need and healthy forests too. Presented by Karl Brown, US National Park Service, at the 2019 SAF National Convention, Louisville, KY.
Water Management and Inventory and Monitoring Providing Needed Data to Decision Makers
Intensive Thinning Prescriptions for Extending Fire ResiliencyThe Hungry Bob fuels reduction project was part of a 12-site National Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) network of experiments conducted across the United States from the late 1990s through the early 2000s to determine the regional differences in applying alternative fuel-reduction treatments to forests. The Hungry Bob project focused on restoration treatments applied in low elevation, dry second-growth ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests of northeastern Oregon. Treatments included a single entry thin from below in 1998, a late season burn in 2000, a thin (1999) followed by burning (2000), and a no-treatment control. This presentation will recommend thinning prescriptions based upon “a minimum required distance between overstory trees” in lieu of basal area metrics. The minimum distance requirements also includes a minimum distance between overstory tree crowns. This assessment will be based upon measurements taken (summer 2019) 20 years after thinning treatments were applied for the purpose of reducing stand basal area to an average of 16 m2 per hectare. The assessment was also conducted within units where prescribe fire followed the thinning operation so the effects of prescribed fire on furthering the minimum required distance between overstory trees could be evaluated. Presented by George McCaskill, USDA Forest Service Pacific NW Research Station, at the 2019 SAF National Convention, Louisville, KY.
Intensive Thinning Prescriptions for Extending Fire Resiliency
Temporal Effects of Hurricanes on Fuel Loading and RegenerationThe frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including hurricanes, are expected to increase in response to global change. Concurrently, coastal southern US forests, will experience droughts that may facilitate a rise in the occurrence of wildfires. Wind damage can substantially alter fuel dynamics and forest structure in coastal forests by increasing their susceptibility to wildfire, especially during severe drought. To mitigate excessive fuel loading, managers commonly use salvage logging and prescribed fire, and time since disturbance may further reduce fuel loads through decomposition. To understand the effect of hurricanes on fuel loading, and the impact of time since disturbance and management action we compared fuel loads across four hurricanes: Hugo (1989), Opal (1995), Katrina (2005), and Ike (2008). Fuels and regeneration data were collected across five upland pine study sites located in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Highly impacted stands (managed and/or unmanaged) were paired with an equal number of less impacted, control stands at each site. Fuels data were collected using Brown’s planar intercept method and tree regeneration was tallied by species. Fuel accumulations increased dramatically with disturbance but decreased and stabilized with time. With frequent prescribed fire, coarse woody debris decreased more rapidly than without fire. However, without prescribed fire, damaged stands had greater fuel loads than control stands, even after 24 years. Salvage logging reduced fuel loads across all fuel size classes. Although overstory mortality can provide growing space for regeneration of shade-intolerant species, effects from frequent prescribed fire override resource availability for recruitment. Presented by Lauren Pile, USDA Forest Service, at the 2018 SAF National Convention, Portland, OR.
Temporal Effects of Hurricanes on Fuel Loading and Regeneration
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