SNAMP Glossary

Short descriptions of some of our commonly used acronyms.

Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP) Glossary:

    AM: Adaptive Management is an approach to managing forests that incorporates the uncertainty about the resource and treats management as a deliberate experiment to enhance scientific understanding about those uncertainties. Ideally, it is a participatory process that engages scientists, stakeholders and managers in a long-term relationship grounded in shared learning about the ecosystem and society.

    CALFIRE: The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) is the State of California's agency responsible for the administration of private and public forests. It serves as an emergency response and resource protection department for the state.

    CANOPY COVER: Canopy cover is a measure of the percentage of ground covered by a vertical projection of the tree canopy. In SNAMP, it is collected using point measurements (yes/no canopy cover).

    CANOPY CLOSURE: is the proportion of the sky hemisphere obscured by vegetation when viewed by a single point. Closure is affected by tree heights and canopy widths and takes into account light interception and other factors that influence microhabitat.

    CBI: The Conservation Biology Institute provides scientific expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity in its natural state through applied research, education, planning, and community service.

    CWHR: California Wildlife Habitat Relationships: A system of classifying vegetation in relation to its function as wildlife habitat for California’s regularly occurring birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Tree-dominated habitat is classified according to tree size and canopy closure. When first published in 1988, it had 53 habitats.

    DANR: The Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is a statewide network of University of California researchers and educators dedicated to the creation, development and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural and human resources.

    DBH: Diameter at breast height. This is the diameter of a tree at 4.5 feet (1.37 meters) above the ground.

    DEIS: A Draft Environmental Impact Statement is part of the NEPA process designed to promote informed decision-making by federal agencies by making "detailed information concerning significant environmental impacts" available to both agency leaders and the public. It is prepared based on both agency expertise and issues raised by the public. The agency prepares a Draft EIS with a full description of the affected environment, a reasonable range of alternatives, and an analysis of the impacts of each alternative. The public is then provided a second opportunity to provide comments.

    DEM: stands for Digital Elevation Model. This is a 3D digital surface model of the ground. It can be generated based on "old" topographic maps, surveying or more realistically nowadays, from 3D LiDAR data. This is accomplished by transforming the LiDAR data into a "bare earth" model, a synonym for DEM.

    DFPZ: Defensible Fuel Profile Zones – Strategically located strips of land where the vegetation has been modified to a less dense fuel type. Generally located along ridge tops and roads; these are areas where fire fighters would make a stand to contain a fire. The width is based on potential fire behavior taking into consideration fuel, weather and topography. They are typically placed in wild land urban intermix areas or to protect specific values.

    DOQ: Digital orthophoto quadrangle, is a computer-generated image of an aerial photograph in which image displacement caused by terrain relief and camera tilts has been removed. It combined the image characteristics of a photograph with the geometric qualities of a map.

    DR: The District Ranger is the supervisor of a forest service district. They are key cooperators in SNAMP.

    DWR: The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, including the California Aqueduct. The department also provides dam safety and flood control services, assists local water districts in water management and conservation activities, promotes recreational opportunities, and plans for future statewide water needs.

    EA: An Environmental Assessment is an assessment of the likely positive and/or negative influence a project may have on the environment. “Environmental Impact Assessment can be defined as: The process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.” The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision-makers consider environmental impacts before deciding whether to proceed with new projects.

    EF: Essential Facilitation is a facilitation methodology developed by Interaction Associates that teaches basic facilitation skills in an effort to build understanding and agreement among participants. These methods have been adapted for the Structural Facilitation used by SNAMP.

    EIS: An Environmental Impact Statement is a document that must be filed when the federal government takes a "major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." The law requiring this is the National Environmental Policy Act. An EIS typically has four sections:1) An introduction including a statement of the purpose and need of the proposed action. 2) A description of the affected environment. 3) A range of alternatives to the proposed action. Alternatives are considered the "heart" of the EIS. 4) An analysis of the environmental impacts of each of the possible alternatives.

    ESA: The Endangered Species Act is the most wide-ranging of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. It was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as well as the ecosystems upon which they depend. There are two categories on the list, endangered and threatened. Endangered species are closer to extinction than threatened species. A third status is that of "candidate species". Under this status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that listing is warranted but immediate listing is precluded due to other priorities.

    FFEH: The Fire and Forest Ecosystem Health team is one of five SNAMP University of California science teams. The team’s focus is to research the effects of forest service management (primarily SPLATs) on forest health, fire behavior, and stand structure.

    FIA: The Forest Inventory and Analysis Program of the U.S. Forest Service provides the information through an annual survey to project how National Forests are likely to appear in 10 to 50 years to evaluate whether current forest management practices are sustainable. FIA reports on status and trends in forest area and location; in the species, size, and health of trees; and total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest. FIA has been in operation under various names (Forest Survey, Forest Inventory and Analysis) for 70 years.

    GIS: Geographic Information System is a mapping guide. It is a system designed for viewing, analyzing, creating, storing, managing, and distributing spatial data. In a more generic sense, GIS is a tool that allows users to create searches, analyze the spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations. GIS technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, environmental impact assessment, urban planning, cartography, criminology, history, sales, marketing, and logistics.

    HCRA: is a Home Range Core Area established around and adjacent to PACs. HRCA boundaries are determined locally and encompass the highest quality owl habitat available. The desired condition for these areas is to provide high quality nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat to complement habitat within the PAC. Vegetation treatments may occur within these areas.

    HTLCB: is Height To Live Crown Base. It is the approximate height above the ground where live limbs begin on each tree. It is an important determinant of fire behavior since low limbs can act as a ladder allowing fire to burn into the crown.

    IKONOS: IKONOS is a satellite that collects digital imagery of the earth. It is a multispectral sensor, meaning that it collects imagery in four "colors" (blue, green, red and near-infrared) usually referred to as channels or spectral bands. It also has a panchromatic band which collects a monochromatic image at a higher spatial resolution.

    IT: The Integration Team is a place for the sharing of data collected in the field and providing a chance for shared learning. It is also where the details of the adaptive management process will be further worked out.

    LANDSAT: satellite imagery of high resolution visible and infrared imagery collected and processed by several federal agencies (NOAA, USGS, NASA) and provided free to the public.

    LIDAR: stands for Light Detection and Ranging. Technically speaking, this is an instrument that uses a laser to shoot out a pulse then detects the pulse once it bounces back from a surface, and measures how long this process takes. The measured time is then converted to distance, which indicates how far a surface is from the instrument. In SNAMP, we are putting LiDAR on an aircraft, pointing it towards the ground and essentially retrieving a 3D model of the surface as well as any non-translucent object in between that the laser may encounter (including trees, shrubbery, etc). This data can later be used to generate a DEM.

    LOP: A Limited Operating Period is a seasonal period during which normal forest management operations must be limited to reduce disturbance to wildlife species of concern.

    MOUP: Memorandum of Understanding Partners –A group of governmental (federal and state) and non-governmental agencies that have developed and formally agreed to work together on the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project, to include: California’s Departments of Fish and Game, Water Resources, Forest and Fire Protection, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the five University of California Science Teams.

    NAIP: National Agriculture Imagery Program acquires color infrared digital orthophotos during the agricultural growing seasons in the continental US. They fly the entire US regularly and make it available to the public. See _2006_update.pdf for more info.

    NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act sets procedures that all Federal agencies must follow to insure that environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before decisions are made and before actions are taken.

    NF: National Forests are protected forests and woodland areas in the United States. National forests are owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, under the direction of the United States Department of Agriculture.

    NGO: A Non-Governmental Organization is a legally constituted organization created by private persons or organizations with no participation or representation of any government.

    NOP: Notice of Preparation, also known as scoping, occurs when a project is first proposed, the agency announces it with notices in the Federal Register, local media, and to citizens and groups that it knows are likely to be interested. Citizens and groups are welcome to send in comments helping the agency identify the issues it must address in the EIS (or EA).

    NRCS: stands for Natural Resources Conservation Service which provides programs to help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty.

    PAC: Protected Activity Center: Designated areas affording protection to specific species by restricting certain management activities. For SNAMP, the species are spotted owl, and the Pacific Fisher. There are specific acreages designated for PACs and are centered on nesting/breeding areas found through surveys.

    PI: The Principal Investigator refers to a lead researcher on the University of California science team. The PIs are Roger Bales and Martha Conklin (Water), Scott Stephens and John Battles (Forest Health), Rick Sweitzer (Fisher), Rocky Gutierrez and Zach Peery (Owl), Lynn Huntsinger, Maggi Kelly and Kim Rodrigues (Public Participation), and Maggi Kelly and Qinghua Guo (Spatial). Each of the PIs is responsible for the scientific integrity and the technical, administrative and fiscal management of each specific project within the overall project.

    PM: The Project Manager refers to the leader in the field of each of the University of California research teams.

    PP: Public Participation refers in this case to efforts to involve local or concerned citizens in forest management projects, both in clear sharing of information and in being open to outside comment. This process is considered an integral part of SNAMP.

    PPT: The Public Participation Team is one of the five University of California science teams created under the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project. Its goal is to ensure a clear and transparent communication process for all those interested in forest management issues. They are also studying the best ways to engage the public in the adaptive management process itself.

    PSW: Pacific Southwest Research Station. PSW is the research and development branch of the USDA Forest Service in the states of California and Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. PSW develops and delivers science-based information, technologies, understanding, and applications to help people make well-informed decisions about natural resource management, conservation, and environmental protection.

    Q2, Q3: Quarterly meeting 2nd, 3rd – These are meetings regarding the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project. They are held quarterly in different locations to share progress and are open to the public.

    ROD: Record of Decision –An official document in which a deciding official states the alternative that will be implemented from a prepared Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This acronym is used for the decision made on the EIS for the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (2004) for the management of 11 Sierra Nevada National Forests. The state of California requested the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project to further inform the ROD 2004 regarding best management practices.

    SNAMP: Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project refers to the overall project to develop, implement and test adaptive management processes through testing the efficacy of Strategically Placed Landscape Treatments across four response variables, including public participation, wildlife, water and fire/forest health.

    SNFPA: The Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment was implemented in January 2004 through signing by Regional Forester Jack Blackwell of a ROD. It amended the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan (Framework) to improve protection of old forests, wildlife habitats, watersheds and communities in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Modoc Plateau.

    SPLAT: Strategically Placed Landscape Area Treatments are areas of forest thinning designed to slow the spread of fire. They are placed on the landscape so that a spreading fire does not have a clear path of untreated fuels from the bottom of the slope to the ridge top. These are to be designed to burn at lower intensities and slower rates of spread during wildfires than comparable untreated areas. In the example of a large parking lot with speed bumps, the SPLATs are the speed bumps that slow down fires.

    UC: The University of California is a public university system in the state of California.

    UCB: The University of California, Berkeley is a major research university. It is the oldest of the ten campuses affiliated with the University of California and the headquarters of the SNAMP Pacific Fisher Research team.

    UCCE: University of California Cooperative Extension is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities (UC Berkeley, Davis and Riverside). They are one of the collaborators in the SNAMP Public Participation Team.

    UCD: The University of California, Davis, commonly known as UC Davis, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, and was established as the University Farm in 1905. It is the home of the UC Cooperative Extension Service which is part of the Public Participation Team within SNAMP.

    UCM: The University of California, Merced, located in the San Joaquin Valley is the tenth University of California campus. UC Merced is the first American research university built in the 21st century. It is the home of the SNAMP water team.

    UMN: The University of Minnesota is the home of the spotted owl science team for the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project.

    UCST: University of California Science Teams are groups of scientists organized as part of SNAMP to monitor the effects of implementing SPLATs on National Forest system lands on various aspects of the health of the ecosystem, through. There are five teams: forest health, water, wildlife, public participation, and spatial. They will collect data and provide feedback to the treatment implementers in an effort to find the best management practices. Researchers from University of Minnesota are also part of the UCST.

    USDA: The United States Department of Agriculture is a federal executive department. Its purpose is to develop and execute policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger, in America and abroad. They are a partner sponsoring and supporting USFS and UC work at the state level.

    USFS: The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's national forests and national grasslands. The Research and Development branch of the Forest Service carries out research relevant to forest ecosystems and other natural resources. They are a chief collaborator in SNAMP.

    USFWS: The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that is dedicated to managing and preserving wildlife. They are one of the governmental agencies cooperating in the SNAMP project.

    UTM: refers to Universal Transverse Mercator which is a commonly used coordinate system to indicate a geographical position anywhere on the Earth. This system is commonly used when using geographic information systems to map the landscape.

    WUI: The Wildland Urban Interface is a zone between established communities and uninhabited forest lands; lands of mixed private and public ownership that experience increased human use.