Let us know what you think about any topic related to the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project in the forums below. The Principal Investigators on the UC Science Team cannot answer every post, but they will read all comments in their areas, and respond to comments as a group at each quarterly meeting. We greatly value your input!

Beargrass burning at Last Chance Site by jwlong, at 10:39 a.m. on 1 November 2011,

I was forwarded notice about a planned "Bear Grass burn area" at the Last Chance study site. Do you have information about the objectives/prescription for that particular treatment as well as what kinds of monitoring data will be collected pre/post to evaluate the effects? My colleague, Frank Lake, and I are interested in gathering information about fire effects on cultural resources as well as monitoring prescribed fires on the quality of those resources for cultural uses. Thank you, Jonathan Long Pacific Southwest Research Station

Planes Used in Fisher Research Flights by Anne Lombardo, at 1:49 p.m. on 22 September 2011,

At the presentation to the Alpine Village Association in Fish Camp on September 5th, 2011, the following question was raised by one of the participants. The project leader for the SNAMP Fisher Study Rick Sweitzer's response follows.

Question: "What kind of plane does Rick use to track fisher in?"

Answer: "As for the airplanes: All of our planes are tailwheel design planes for maximum safety in the event of an emergency back country landing. Our primary plane is a Cessna 185 outfitted with a stol kit and airfoil fins along the edge of the wing. These modifications are designed to improve lift and maneuverability for the kind of flying we do. Out backup plane is a Piper Supercub, also with airfoil fins along the leading edge of the wings. At present we have a Husky that we are using as a backup airplane while the Supercub is being recovered."

The FFEH team is NOT exploring the impact of pine root gathering on carbon storage at either of the SNAMP research sites. Our experiment is to evaluate the impact of forest and fuel treatments. While these treatments will undoubtedly impact the surface and fine roots of all the tree species, we will not be able to make any deductions that inform the impact of root gathering. Regarding pine cone production, we agree that the planned treatments will undoubtedly influence seed production for trees in the treated areas. Generally we expect these trees to increase their production as their vigor and growth improves. But again we are not explicitly addressing this interesting question.


Benefits and sustainability of traditional gathering by Kim_Ingram, at 9:37 a.m. on 8 August 2011,

The following question was asked of the Fire & Forest Ecosystem Health team by Bill Tripp, Eco-cultural Restoration Specialist of the Karuk Tribe, Dept. of Natural Resources:

I would appreciate it if someone could ask if they (the Fire & Forest Ecosystem Health team) are looking at how traditional gathering of Pine roots could potentially contribute to enhanced root production and associated long term below ground carbon storage and expedited growth and associated above ground carbon storage. This would help to provide documentation on the benefits and sustainability of traditional gathering as an ecosystem service and/or resource benefit that can be attributed to management actions where such traditional gathering is occurring or can otherwise be authorized to occur freely. In addition, a similar and connected activity in relation to gathering in Pine stands would be the effects on the quality and quantity of Pine nuts in relation to management actions. It is my understanding that pine nuts were historically a major component of subsistence and trade amongst Native Americans in the Sierra Nevada’s, and pine roots were a primary material in construction of the baskets utilized in the collection of that resource. There are likely additional plants associated with that ecotype that are utilized in the construction of these baskets that should be enhanced in the management of Pine stands and adjacent ecotypes within Sierra Nevada landscapes. The information on resources utilized in the construction of these baskets is likely available from local Tribes, traditional practitioners, tribal elders, and/or museums. Just food for thought.... Thank you,

Bill Tripp Eco-Cultural Restoration Specialist Karuk Tribe Dept. of Natural Resources (530) 627-3446 x3023

Met station concerns and comments by Kim_Ingram, at 11:07 a.m. on 30 November 2010,

The following concerns and comments were brought up from a general public participant after the UC Water Team field trip to Duncan Peak at the Last Chance study site. The UC Water Teams response follows.

"Thanks for allowing me to attend the field trip to Duncan Peak. Good timing....getting up there before this storm. I have one small concern. When there is a lot of snowmobilers out, those poles (met stations) won't be that easy to see. I think that they should be painted a bright orange on top to help for visibility. I mentioned it to the guy who was leading us to the different sensor sites... He said that they (snowmobilers) wouldn't be going that fast & would see them. I don't think that he understands that the extreme snowmobilers around here go very fast on the sides of the mountains, they don't stick to groomed trails; & are out at night sometimes in major storms...not just during the day. Although I agree that someone probably will not be hitting a sensor pole, it wouldn't hurt to make them more visible." Sincerely, Rita Moriarty

"Painting the poles orange would certainly make them more visible to snowmobilers...but my concern is that they would also be extremely visible to everyone else and make them very susceptible to vandalism. I also think that the number of trees surrounding most of our poles would not enable snowmobilers to go very fast around most of our installations. I have seen snowmobile tracks around our previously installed equipment, and they all purposefully avoid the poles. The solar panels on the top make them fairly visible to anyone close by in most conditions. While there are some snowmobilers that do go out at night and in blizzards, that is not recommended by, or for anyone and they do so at their own risk. Furthermore, all terrain covered by snowmobilers is supposed to be reviewed every time before any fast or difficult snowmobiling, due to changes in snow condition, along with any small trees, sticks, logs (or poles!) sticking up that may not be visible at fast speeds or from far away.

I appreciate the concern that Rita has shown for the snowmobilers out there (as we are some of them). We certainly don't want anyone getting hurt or injured from our installations. However, I believe that in most normal conditions our installations will not cause a problem for safe snowmobiling, and we cannot control the actions of those riders that choose unsafe snowmobiling practices."

Thanks, ~Phil Saksa UC Water Team

"Hi All,
I really didn't think about vandalism & wouldn't think that it would be a high priority in winter. Snowmobilers are normally just interested in riding. When you put up any extensions, it might be possible to flag or paint the tops in just the sites that are in the open . That way it isn't allot of extra work for the team. I just mentioned the visibility of poles because you said that if the people on the field trip thought of anything to let you know. I feel that visibility could be important & needed to address that issue." Thanks for listening. Rita Moriarty

UCST response to re-treatment interval question by Kim_Ingram, at 11:38 a.m. on 2 November 2010,

Cathy, The following is the UCST rsponse to your question concerning information on re-treatment in a fuels break area:

This is an interesting question that is not directly addressed by the SNAMP project. In our modeling we had to make assumptions on how fuel treatments will change over time but I currently have a student working on a PhD in my lab that is investigating how the actual understories of shaded fuel breaks change over the last 20 years. Her name is Linsday and she hopes to finish her PhD by May of next year. I cant say much more about this topic until she finishes her work. Scott Stephens

Maintenance of fuels treatment projects by Kim_Ingram, at 12:50 p.m. on 25 October 2010,

In response to information from the Fire & Forest Ecosystem Health Team presented at the annual meeting re.the length of time between scheduled maintenance in fuel breaks, Cathy Koos Breazeal from the Amador Fire Safe Council has submitted the following comments and questions:

"Here in Amador County, we have been building shaded fuel breaks since 2003 and we monitor those projects regularly for maintenance and I am seeing the fuel breaks in all states of need, from pristine at 5 years, to needing maintenance after only 2 or 3 years. We are working primarily in elevations from 2200 to 4000 feet. Some of the difference I think can be attributed to how the project was laid out by the RPF (we use 3 or 4 RPFs) and what contractor did the work; as well as the obvious differences in aspect, plant community, etc.

Is there more information the FFEH team can share on this topic?"

Last Chance Fuel Treatments Update by Ann Huber, at 3:40 p.m. on 14 September 2010,

Here is a recent update on the Last Chance Fuel Treatments from Chris Fischer:

Hello Everyone,

We received additional funding from the Region to completely cover the Last Chance fuels treatments. This includes both tractor and cable units. These funds came from Regional surplus of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funding.

The bid process closed last week and we received two bids on Last Chance. The District and Forest are evaluating the bid packages and I anticipate an award next week. It also appears that all work will be awarded. I am still not sure if any work will begin this year, but do think it is doubtful given the still sluggish economy and other contracts each bidder is currently working on. I'll let you know of scheduling when I find out.

All in all this is great news for SNAMP and the Last Chance project. It looks like next year will be a busy one for us. Thanks,

Chris Fischer
District Ranger
American River Ranger District, Tahoe NF

Weasel at 9000 feet by Anne Lombardo, at 8:53 a.m. on 1 September 2010,

In regards to the weasel you saw at 9000 feet. We think you might have seen a marten as they tend to live above the fisher in elevation. We've posted a few pictures of martens taken from our motion cameras for you to compare:

A fisher near sunrise camp? by netkat, at 9:48 p.m. on 30 August 2010,

On my way to Sunrise Camp in Yosemite over the weekend, in the trees on the edge of the meadow about 1 mile from the Sunrise Camp, I saw a very unusual animal. It had a smallish head (rather like a weasel) and was long bodied with a black tail. From the photos I've been able to find, it seems the animal resembles a fisher but the elevation where I saw this animal was about 9000 feet. Could it possibly have been a fisher? If not a fisher, what else could it have been. Definitely was not a marmot (as I had seen one earlier in the day).

Legend Show