Revised SNAMP Workplan: January 16, 2007


The goal of the research proposed here is to learn how to use an adaptive management and monitoring system to understand ecosystem behavior, incorporate stakeholder participation, and inform the implementation of adaptive management for Forest Service lands in the Sierra Nevada of California. Nearly a century of fire management in the Sierra has had the unintended consequence of placing millions of hectares of forest at risk of catastrophic fire (Biswell 1989, van Wagtendonk 1998). This regional assessment of fire hazard and fuel loads is reflected in the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (SNFPA 2004), in which modifying wildland fire behavior is a management priority. The preferred alternative is to apply strategic fuel management at the landscape level. The approach is based on the theory (Finney 2001) that disconnected fuel treatment patches that overlap in the direction of the head fire spread reduce the overall rate and intensity of the fire. Simulations have shown that with as little as 30% of the area in these strategically placed area treatments (SPLATs), fire risk can be decreased for the entire landscape. Despite the sound conceptual underpinning of strategic fuel treatments, there is uncertainty regarding their efficacy in modifying fire behavior and concern regarding potential impacts on wildlife and water resources. Moreover, given the history of debate over land and resource management in the Sierra Nevada, a lasting solution should engage stakeholders and promote active public participation in all phases of the process, including the development, interpretation, and incorporation of research-based information in the adaptive management process.


Proposals and Workplan

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