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!

Challenges with AM? by chschen, at 12:37 p.m. on 25 November 2009,


I am researching SNAMP for a school assignment and was wondering if you could tell me about some of the challenges the SNAMP team has faced that are unique to Adaptive Management (versus other approaches).

Thanks, Christine

Wildfire Management Conference by Shasta, at 7:08 p.m. on 18 November 2009,

This may be of interest to SNAMP participants:

Conference on Pre- and Post-Wildfire Forest Management for Ecological Restoration and Fire Resiliency.

This conference will bring scientists, forest managers, environmental organizations and interested members of the general public together to present and discuss information relevant to the management of forested land before and after wildfire. Focus will be on the conifer forest types common to the Sierra Nevada and Trinity-Klamath Region of California, but the information presented will have application to similar forest types in other regions.

MET Station costs by Kim_Ingram, at 10:32 a.m. on 27 October 2009,

At the September 1st water field trip to the Last Chance site, a question was raised as to how much our MET stations cost? There is potential interest by other organizations in setting up similar MET stations. The water team has provided the following estimated cost breakdown for the SNAMP MET stations.

Tower - 10 meter aluminum tower - $700; Datalogger - Campbell Scientific CR1000 - $1,350; Remote Data Transmitter - GOES Setup - $3,400; Precipitation - Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge - $1,100; Net Radiation - Kipp & Zonen NR Lite - $1,600; Incoming Radiation - Li-Cor Li200 - $500; Snow Depth - Judd Ultrasonic Sensor - $600; Barametric Pressure - Sollnst Barologger - $500; Wind Speed & Direction - RM Young 05103V - $1,150; Temperature & Relative Humidity - Visalia HMP50, Radiation Shield - $450; Misc. equipment - wires,box, concrete - $1,000;

Total - $12,350

Sierra Nevada Conservancy Symposium by Shasta, at 3:39 p.m. on 14 October 2009,

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy will be hosting its 3rd Annual Symposium on October 29th, 2009. The symposium is titled “Connecting the Dots” and will focus on Wildfire, Forest Health, and Sustainable Rural Economies. For more info on this, visit the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Website.

Water Team Q & A Re. Moonlight fire by Kim_Ingram, at 10:52 a.m. on 3 September 2009,

The following question was submitted to the Water team for their consideration: Has SNAMP considered 'adapting' and having the water team take a 'side trip' to the Moonlight Fire perimeter to estimate sediment rates from the burned area? It is possible that this 65,000 acre perimeter is an ideal lab to quickly obtain valuable sediment information, particularly since this fire had a high percentage of high severity burn.

While the Moonlight fire has good potential to be a study area, it is not feasible for SNAMP to include this area due to the time/budget/objective constraints of this project. The Moonlight fires high severity burn was not part of a prescribed burn, so it is not comparable to fuels treatments conducted by the Forest Service with no potential for forest management recommendations.

Fishers as "old growth" species response by Rick Sweitzer , at 9:43 p.m. on 26 July 2009,

Dear Linda,

Thanks for your question, and yes, we are aware of the extensive logging that occurred throughout the Fisher Project study area and in Yosemite NP in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The legacy of the logging that occurred here is very apparent from the many old tree stumps, rusty and partially buried cables, and grown over logging roads in the area. Importantly, however, the forest has regrown in the intervening years and large areas of the Bass Lake Ranger District include large diameter, 2nd growth timber approaching 80-100 yrs in age. Although not “old growth” forest per se, these “mature forest” habitats include many of the features that fishers require including relatively high aboveground biomass, closed canopy conditions (>50-60% canopy cover), and the presence of large trees and snags with cavities that provide both rest sites and den sites. When discussing forest conditions important for fishers in our presentations, we note that fishers prefer mature and old growth forest habitats. We will be careful to explain that the fisher habitat in our study area is not “old growth” forest.

Regarding your comment on fisher mortalities, at our most recent Fisher Integration Meeting in Fresno on July 15, 2009, we discussed the multiple different sources of mortality now documented for fishers in the Sierra National Forest. Vehicle strikes (roadkills) are an important source of mortality for fishers in the project area, but especially in southwestern Yosemite NP. The speed limit in the area of the park where fishers are being killed on the Wawona Road/Hwy 41 is currently 35 mph. The speed limit along Hwy 41 just south of the park boundary is also 35 mph. Unfortunately not all motorists obey the speed limit, and it is difficult for drivers to see these darkly colored animals on the highway at night when they are out foraging. It is possible that some combination of reduced speed limits, better enforcement, and appropriate signs like those used for bears in Yosemite NP may help mitigate the problem.

Cost-benefit of lidar by Maggi Kelly, at 1:18 p.m. on 13 July 2009,

This post is in response to the question: "Do the scientists find it is sufficiently accurate to give them measurements at the needed accuracy and at what cost?"

I will touch on the accuracy question first, and then the costs question.

First, the accuracy question. Tree attributes such as height, dbh (diameter at breast height), height to live crown, species, age, location, basal area, volume, biomass growth and leaf area index have been measured in the field in forest plots for over 100 years. Many of these attributes can be measured directly using LiDAR data, and some can be inferred from lidar data. Stand attributes such as age, trees per hectare, mean diameter and height, dominant height, volume per hectare, form factor, annual increment per hectare and growth have also been estimated from individual plot data for some time. Again many of these can be measured from processed LiDAR data. Accuracy, which is usually estimated by comparing ground data from a series of plots with lidar values, varies with species, density, topography, lidar equipment. For example, in our SNAMP project, preliminary analysis shows r2 of 0.78 for tree height, and 0.65 for dbh. A clear technical advantage of lidar is the ability to completely inventory the forest, instead of collecting a sample of plots that might not be representative of forest heterogeneity. The derived data products that come from lidar can easily be used at multiple scales (and resolutions) as direct inputs to fire models and environmental niche models. The field plot-based approach requires interpolating between these sampled plots to generate a continuous surface.

Second, the costs question. There is more information on the cost-benefits of lidar for topographic mapping and construction. For forestry applications, however, there is less information on the relative costs of lidar vs field capture. The cost of lidar includes acquisition, field data collection, and processing, which includes software and hardware as well as personnel. These can add up. Most comparisons of lidar vs. field alone concentrate on the technical advantages highlighted above. One exception is Renslow et al. (2000) who claim that for a typical even-aged, managed forest of 500,000 acres where in each year, 2% of 10,000 acres (200 acres) are sampled to determine what management steps are needed, cost savings with lidar would be $15,400 annually. I think this is overly optimistic, as it only includes 2 weeks for analysis. Our SNAMP analysis (albeit over a much larger area) takes considerably longer.

So, in proto-conclusion, I think the advantage of lidar is clearly in its accuracy and coverage, and these outweigh any cost savings that a fast and cheap field campaign might provide. Still, I will come back to this topic later with more analysis from our SNAMP project.

Fishers as "old growth" species by LLBlum, at 12:32 p.m. on 27 June 2009,

Having just heard from the USFS Regional Forester yesterday that the next round of forest planning will make fisher habitat an issue for all the Sierran national forests, I'd like to challenge the SNAMP science team to be very clear about the ages as well as the sizes and species of forest components in the southern SNAMP site.

The need for such accuracy hit home earlier this week while Harry & I were watching KVIE's "California's Gold" TV program on the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad. The operator said 30,000 acres were clearcut in the vicinity of the railroad between 1899 and 1931. Photos showing the landscape backed up the characterization of clearcutting. There's no way the habitats where fishers are being studied in SNAMP classify as "old growth."

Also, I'd like to suggest to all agencies participating in SNAMP that, given the fisher mortality data obtained so far, a roadside signage program and lower speed limit on Hwy 41 similar to the bear signs & speed limits now being deployed in Yosemite might be in order for fishers. Thanks.

The value of LiDAR by Kim_Ingram, at 10:29 a.m. on 8 June 2009,

For those of you unable to attend out recent workshops on the use of LiDAR and other technologies, it has been asked if the spatial team can give a quick synthesis of the value of LiDAR.

Do the scientists find it is sufficiently accurate to give them measurements at the needed accuracy and at what cost?

Data Sharing by Shasta Ferranto, at 8:39 p.m. on 4 June 2009,

At the recent LiDAR workshops, Maggi Kelly talked about some of the publicly available data generated from the SNAMP project. This data can all be found on our data sharing website: https://snamp.ucmerced.edu/

If you'd like more information on which data we can and can't share, please check out our data sharing agreement.

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