Intensive Thinning Prescriptions for Extending Fire Resiliency
The 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.