RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS



Effects of slope, vegetation, and ground roughness on firefighter escape route mapping

View brief.

The study's key findings: 

  • The use of airborne LiDAR in conjunction with our experimentally-derived understanding of the effects of wildland landscape conditions on travel efficiency stands to greatly improve the efficiency, consistency, and accuracy with which wildland firefighter escape routes can be designated on the ground

Integrating the sciences to build capacity for an "all lands" approach to forest restoration

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This study used a team with widely diverse expertise that gathered information from private, state, federal, and tribal landowners about their current forest and fire management practices and then built a computer model that can be used to facilitate collaborative decision making about forest. management in fire-prone environments.

Fire severity impacts winter snowpack

View research brief.

Fire is a strong driver of changes in montane forest structure in California’s Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade mountain ranges, which provide much of the snowpack and associated water storage for the state of California. A recent study by Stevens presented one of the first direct investigations in California of how fire can influence snowpack depth.

Do fuel reduction treatments cause beetle mortality or resilience?

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This study examined bark beetle mortality for two-years after fuel reduction treatment in mid-elevation mixed conifer forests at the University of California Blodgett Research Forest. As part of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study, the experimental treatments included prescribed fire (fire), mastication, the combination of the two, and a control.

Bringing healthy sagebrush communities full circle

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), through its Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI), is there to empower ranchers to make well-balanced improvements on their ranching operations that are good for wildlife living in sagebrush country, as well as their business’s bottom line.

To highlight the effectiveness and on-going success of this multi-faceted working lands approach, they've introduced the “Healthy Sagebrush Communities” websitestory map, and poster.

Fire Science Exchange Network - Fostering information flow

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The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Fire Science Exchange Network is a national collaboration of 15 regional fire science exchanges that provides the most relevant, current wildland fire science information to federal, state, local, tribal, and private stakeholders within ecologically similar regions. The network brings fire managers, practitioners, and scientists together to address regional fire management needs and challenges.

Conservation Efforts Database: improving knowledge of landscape conservation actions

View fact sheet.

The CONSERVATION EFFORTS DATABASE (CED) was codeveloped by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC):

  • USFWS provided a comprehensive ecological assessment separated by threats and efforts, and database structure based on user needs.
  • USGS provided database and website design expertise building off of the Land Treatment Digital Library.
  • GNLCC provided ecological, database, and GIS expertise, greatly enhancing CED capabilities.

Many state and federal partners provided input and feedback, ranging from design recommendations to policy sideboards, ensuring the CED has broad applicability and interoperability

Bringing healthy sagebrush communities full circle

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), through its Sage Grouse Initiative, works to empower ranchers to make well-balanced improvements on their ranching operations that are good for wildlife living in sagebrush country, as well as their business’ bottom line.

To highlight the effectiveness and on-going success of this multi-faceted working lands approach, they've developed a “Healthy Sagebrush Communities” webpage, story map, and poster.   

Mapping the future: US exposure to multiple landscape stressors

This bulletin summarizes work by an interdisciplinary team of Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University scientists who created maps of the conterminous United States that indicate landscape exposure to concentrated wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, urban and exurban development, and climate change.

Mapping the future: US exposure to multiple landscape stressors

In this study, an interdisciplinary team of Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University scientists created maps of the conterminous United States that indicate landscape exposure to concentrated wildfire potential, insects and disease risk, urban and exurban development, and climate change. 

Bridging the gap: Joint Fire Science Program outcomes

This brief summarizes data and studies to determine whether the results of JFSP-funded projects are reaching potential users and informing management decisions and actions. Those studies have helped identify issues and influence changes within the program. While some studies showed that JFSP-funded research is being used for planning and for supporting treatment prescriptions, they also identified barriers that prevent greater use of fire science information by the broader fire management community. These outcomes studies are an important tool to help the JFSP address those barriers and continue to make program improvements.

Commonly referenced wildland fire initiatives, programs, and networks

Numerous agencies, organizations, and collaboratives conduct activities related to wildland fire. Understanding all of their different roles and objectives can be confusing. This fact sheet provides brief descriptions of some of the most common wildland fire initiatives, programs, networks, and other efforts taking place around the country. 

Landscape-level prescriptions: a new foundation for restoration planning

This brief was developed to help guide collaborative landscape planning efforts, through use of a framework of seven core principles and their implications for management of fire-prone interior forest landscapes.

Key findings included: 

  • Historically, forests were spatially heterogeneous at multiple scales as a result of interactions among succession, disturbance, and other processes.
  • Planning and management are needed at fine to broad scales to restore the key characteristics of resilience.
  • Landscapes must be viewed as socio-ecological systems that provide services to people within the limited capacities of ecosystems.
  • Development of landscape-level prescriptions is the foundation of restoration planning. 

Scanning the future of wildfire: resilience ahead...whether we like it or not?

This research brought together futures researchers and wildfire specialists to envision what the future holds for wildfire impacts and how the wildfire community may respond to the complex suite of emerging challenges. The consensus of the project’s foresight panel suggests that an era of resilience is ahead: but that this resilience may come either with a very high cost (after some kind of collapse), in a more systematic way (that is, if the wildfire community plans for, and fosters, resilience), or something in between. Read the Fire Science Digest.

Living with fire: how social scientists are helping wildland-urban interface communities reduce wildfire risk

Community wildfire protection plans (CWPPs) are an effective way to reduce wildfire risk in the U.S. wildland urban interface (WUI), but most WUI communities have no such plan in place. Community support and involvement are necessary for CWPPs to succeed. WUI communities reflect a wide range of social characteristics, preventing an effective “one-size-fits-all” approach to CWPP creation. Read the full Bulletin.

Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory

Great Basin Coordination Center issued a Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory for the western and northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon, and southwestern Idaho regions on July 7, 2016.

 Low fuel moisture coupled with heavy fine fuel loading after a long period of dry and hot weather over w and n NV, se OR, and sw ID point to continued potential for extreme fire behavior. This threat is especially pronounced in locations with sagebrush with heavy fine fuel loading in the understory; particularly when fires occur in conjunction with sustained winds greater than 20
mph.

Read the full report.

 

 

Fact Sheet: Assessing impacts of fire and post-fire mitigation on runoff and erosion from rangelands

Fact Sheet: Assessing impacts of fire and post-fire mitigation on runoff and erosion from rangelands

This fact sheet provides an overview of the immediate and short-term hydrologic impacts of fire on infiltration, runoff, and erosion by water, and of the effectiveness of various mitigation treatments in the reduction of runoff and erosion in the years following the fire.

Fact Sheet: Establishing big sagebrush and other shrubs from planting stock

Fact Sheet: Establishing big sagebrush and other shrubs from planting stock

 

Bareroot or container seedlings can be used to quickly re-establish big sagebrush and other native shrubs in situations where direct seeding is not feasible or unlikely to succeed. Guidelines are provided for developing a planting plan and timeline, arranging for seedling production, and installing and managing outplantings. 

Fact Sheet: Post-fire grazing management in the Great Basin

Fact Sheet: Post-fire grazing management in the Great Basin

 

This Fact Sheet provides guidelines for maintaining productive sagebrush steppe communities in grazed areas after fire. The focus is on plant communities that, prior to fire, were largely intact and had an understory of native perennial herbaceous species or introduced bunchgrass, rather than invasive annual grass. 

Bees In The Desert: Plant Reproduction After Fire

A new fact sheet based on the research of Andrew Lybbert (MS, Brigham Young University) is now available. Lybbert works to better understand how fire affects the reproductive success of native perennial plants and the pollinating insect communities they depend on. 

Fire, Small Mammals & Plant Rehabilitation

Mar 19, 2014
Small mammals can have a big impact when it comes to rehabilitating land after a fire. Tiffanny Sharp (MS candidate, BYU) has spent several years trapping animals like the deer mouse at Rush Valley and Merriam’s kangaroo rat at Lytle Ranch to determine what kind of impact they have. A new fact sheet on her research is now available from Desert FMP. 

Read it now.

"Invasive Plants And Fire In The Deserts Of North America "

Invasive plants and fire create substantial challenges for land managers in the deserts of North America. Invasive plants can compete with native plants, alter wildlife habitat, and promote the spread of fire where it was historically infrequent.

"Rocky Mountain Research Station Invasive Species Visionary White Paper "

We provide an overview of recent and ongoing invasive species research conducted by Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists in the Intermountain West in order to familiarize managers with the Station and its products. We also provide several links to continuously updated web sites and a periodic newsletter that covers Rocky Mountain Research Station's invasives species research.

Short-Term Response Of Bird Communities To Restoration Treatments Conducted At Woodland Sites

by Steve Knick, Steve Hanser, and Matthias Leu
This is a follow-up to an article describing the SageSTEP bird work in Issue 17, pp. 4-5.
Songbirds are often used as indicators of change in vegetation communities. Most songbirds have a high visibility and their numbers are relatively easy to estimate from surveys of calls by singing males during the breeding season. Any change in number of birds or species counted on these surveys then can provide evidence that habitats differ among locations or that the environmental template has changed either due to a long-term trend or a short-term response to a management treatments.

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View the article in the SageSTEP newsletter.