Synthesis / Tech Report

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Conservation benefits of rangeland practices: assessments, recommendations, and knowledge gaps

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This synthesis addresses seven major conservation practices and two crosscutting issues:  prescribed grazing, prescribed burning, brush management, range planting, riparian herbaceous cover, upland wildlife habitat management, herbaceous weed control, landscape analysis, socioeconomics and ecosystem services.

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Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice

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This synthesis chapter presents an assessment of the conservation effects of rangeland planting practices – both the assessment of the direct benefits of specific planting techniques recommended in the range planting standard, and assessment of specific conservation effects of alternative vegetation states.

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Smoke models and their emissions-related uncertanties

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Three models were evaluated in this study: CALPUFF, DAYSMOKE and CMAQ during different prescribed burn and wildfire episodes occurring throughout the southeastern US.  Results suggested that CALPUFF could not be determined to be a suitable model for simulating the air quality impacts of fires. Model evaluation indicated that DAYSMOKE can be turned into a reliable a short‐range smoke‐impact prediction tool for land managers. On a regional scale, PM2.5 impacts of prescribed burns and wildfires are best predicted by air quality models such as CMAQ.

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Synthesis of knowledge: Fire history and climate change

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This synthesis includes 9 chapters covering: the current status of climate change science; the importance of fire regimes for understanding climate change impacts; the interrelationships among ecosystems, climate and fuels; the importance of understanding variability, change, scale and pattern for interpreting climate-fire interaction; fire history and climate change from an ecosystem perspective; scientific progress we can expect in the upcoming decade; some recommendations for managers for using fire history to inform their decision making under 21st Century climate change, and concluding thoughts.

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GIS database for sage-grouse and shrubsteppe management in the Intermountain West

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In this report 38 federal, state, university, and nongovernmental experts collaborated to produce new scientific information about greater sage-grouse populations, sagebrush habitats, and relationships among sage-grouse, sagebrush habitats, and land use.

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Review of fuel treatment effectiveness in forests and rangelands and a case study from the 2007 megafires in central Idaho, USA

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This report provides managers with the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of fuel treatments for mitigating severe wildfire effects.  A literature review examines the effectiveness of fuel treatments that had been previously applied and were subsequently burned through by wildfire in forests and rangelands. A case study focuses on WUI fuel treatments that were burned in the 2007 East Zone and Cascade megafires in central Idaho. Both the literature review and case study results support a manager consensus that forest thinning followed by some form of slash removal is most effective for reducing subsequent wildfire severity.

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Fire as a restoration tool: A decision framework for predicting the control or enhancement of plants using fire

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This paper provides a decision framework that integrates fire regime components, plant growth form, and survival attributes to predict how plants will respond to fires and how fires can be prescribed to enhance the likelihood of obtaining desired plant responses.

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Cumulative watershed effects of fuel management in the western United States

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This synthesis contains 14 chapters that cover fire and forests, machinery, erosion processes, water yield and quality, soil and riparian impacts, aquatic and landscape effects, and predictive tools and procedures. These chapters provide an overview of our current understanding of the cumulative watershed effects of fuel management in the western United States.

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Ecological effects of prescribed fire season: a literature review and synthesis for managers

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This study compared historical and prescribed fire regimes for different regions in the United States and synthesized literature on season of prescribed burning. In regions and vegetation types where considerable differences in fuel consumption exist among burning seasons, the effects of prescribed fire season appears to be driven more by fire-intensity differences among seasons than by phenology. Where fuel consumption differs little among burning seasons, the effect of phenology or growth stage of organisms is often more apparent.

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Synthesis of knowledge on the effects of fire and fire surrogates on wildlife in U.S. dry forests

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This document represents a synthesis of existing knowledge on wildlife responses to fire and fire-surrogate treatments, presented in a useful, management-relevant format. Based on scoping meetings and dialogue with public lands managers from throughout the United States, we provide detailed, species-level, summary tables for project biologists and fire managers trying to anticipate the effects of fire and fire-surrogate treatments on local wildlife species.

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