Discussion

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!

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

UCST response to George Terhune comments dated 3/18/10 by Kim_Ingram, at 3:04 p.m. on 5 April 2010,

George,

Here is the response from the Fire and Forest Ecosystem Health Team to your comments/questions dated 3/18/10:

George: 1. " If SNAMP is limited to a focus on "the forest management alternative approved in the 2004 Record of Decision," how can it be an example of "adaptive" management? In any case, you've already gone beyond the SPLAT strategy of the 2004 ROD by including a DFPZ example in the meta-analysis, and that is entirely proper, because the 2004 ROD acknowledged and supported the demonstration of the DFPZ strategy mandated by the HFQLG Forest Recovery Act. It's apparent that Congress intended that strategy to be taken seriously as a candidate for wider application."

UCST: The land management alternatives that the USFS is proposing for the SNAMP project is under the 2004 Record of Decision. SNAMP also thought it would be a good idea to work to integrate other studies in some disciplines to produce a broader assessment of the topic. The first such study was on landscape fire behavior and effects. This effort summarized what had been done independently in other areas of the Sierra. We continue to work on the SNAMP fire modeling since this is our present charge but wont work any more on the additional projects.

George: 2a) "I agree that "a more fruitful exercise" can and should be the next step. But it should not be to compare implemented DFPZs to a theoretical SPLAT design. Since it isn't possible to implement both DFPZs and SPLATs on the same ground, the most useful direct comparisons would be theoretical to theoretical, which would not only be a fairer comparison,it would permit manipulation of both DFPZs and SPLATs over a range of conditions and assumptions. For example, what performance is delivered by each theory when different percentages of the landscape have been treated? When the first 10% is treated? Then another 10% added? Then another 10% added?"

UCST: This is a good idea but outside the of the SNAMP study.

George: 2b)" One of the largest differences that could be expected to show up would be how safely and effectively fire suppression would be supported by various implementations of each strategy. There should also be comparisons under strict and less strict rules regarding where and when management activity is permitted. Those comparisons are needed to support management decisions on how best to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, such as climate change and water supply effects, when balances must be established among competing priorities."

UCST: The SNAMP study is focusing on what the Tahoe and Sierra National Forests are proposing related to fuels treatments in their firesheds. We will work to include fire suppression modeling in our evaluations. Other ideas above are outside the present effort.

George: 2c) "Finally, there should be comparisons of economic effects from implementing each strategy, because the amount of treatment that can be done is limited by the cost efficiency of the management activity, and the availability of the workforce and industrial infrastructure to do the huge amount of work required also depends on the economic practicality and efficiency of management decisions."

UCST: Economic analysis has been a topic brought up before regarding the SNAMP study but it is not included in the approved work-plan and is therefore outside of the current effort.

SPLATs vs DFPZ discussion by Kim_Ingram, at 2:36 p.m. on 18 March 2010,

The following was sent to me from George Terhune re. the SPLATs vs DFPZs discussion:

Thank you for responding to my comments, though of course that leads to further comments and questions. 1. If SNAMP is limited to a focus on 'the forest management alternative approved in the 2004 Record of Decision', how can it be an example of 'adaptive management'? In any case, you've already gone beyond the SPLAT strategy of the 2004 ROD by including a DFPZ example in the meta-analysis, and that is entirely proper, because the 2004 ROD acknowledged and supported the demonstration of the DFPZ strategy mandate by the HFQLG Forest Recovery Act. It's apparent that Congress intended the strategy to be taken seriously as a candidate for wider application. 2. I agree that a 'more fruitful exercise' can and should be the next step. But it should not be to compare implemented DFPZs to a theoretical SPLAT design. Since it isn't possible to implement both DFPZs and SPLATs on the same ground, the most useful direct comparisons would be theoretical to theoretical, which would not only be a fairer comparison, but it would permit manipulation of both DFPZs and SPLATs over a range of conditions and assumptions. For example, what performance is delivered by each theory when different percentages of the landscape have been treated? When the first 10% is treated? Then another 10% added? Then another 10% added? One of the largest differences that could be expected to show up would be how safely and effectiviely fire suppression would be supported by various implementations of each strategy. There should also be comparisons under strict and less strict rules regarding where and when management activity is permitted. Those comparisons are needed to support management decisions on how best to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, such as climate change and water supply effects, when balances must be established among competing priorities. Finally, there should be comparisons of economic effects from implementing each strategy, because the amount of treatment that can be done is limited by the cost efficiency of the management activity, and the availability of the workforce and industrial infrastructure to do the huge amount of work required also depends on the economic practicality and efficiency of management decisions. That isn't everything that needs to be done, but maybe it would be a decent start.

Meta-analysis comments and questions by Kim_Ingram, at 11:32 a.m. on 3 March 2010,

Following the FFEH IT meeting on February 17th, I received some comments and questions concerning the meta-analysis. Because of our committment to open and transparent communication, I am posting them here for the public to review and as the place for the UCST to respond.

"The meta-analysis was unpersuasive, due to the great differences among sites and treatments, which cannot be papered over with statistical manipulations. Why has nobody yet done a direct comparison of the SPLAT strategy vs. the DFPZ strategy, using the same terrain, fuel, weather scenarios, area of treatment, type of treatment, and modeling techniques, but varying only the pattern of treatments on the ground? After all, the fundamental difference between SPLAT and DFPZ strategies is the pattern of treatment, and DFPZs are an exception to the Regional policy specifying SPLATs, and that exception was specifically made by Congress to 'demonstrate the effectiveness' of the DFPZ strategy. It isn't enough to say 'it's effective'. You have to say 'How effective', 'compared to what', and 'how efficient, in terms of cost-effectiveness, effect on suppression cost and firefighter safety, and effectiveness at different levels of implementation from a few percent of the landscape treated in early years, to perhaps 30 percent of the landscape treated after 10-15 years. What effect would each strategy have on suppression effectiveness and safety? If these questions aren't important enough to be investigated directly, what is it that would be more important?"

"Can the discussion be continued as an email forum on the web site? Can such a forum include the opportunity for a participant to post other visual input for discussion, for example excerpts from other Forest Service documents?"

FFEH IT Meeting Location Change by Sarah Lewis, at 11:56 a.m. on 21 January 2010,

Please note that the location of the February 17, 2010 FFEH IT meeting has changed to Silo Building - Cabernet Room on the UC Davis campus. A map of the new location can be found here.

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 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.

US District Court Decision - Basin Project by Maggi Kelly, at 3:30 p.m. on 14 August 2008,

Judge M. C. England has found in favor of the Forest Service and HFQLG Pilot on 11 out of 12 points in the challenge of the 2004 Sierra Nevada Framework and the Basin Project on the Plumas National Forest. The Decision Document and some content from the document are posted on the discussion site.

New! Map-based discussion here. by Maggi Kelly, at 4:23 p.m. on 1 August 2008,

You can now add a comment that is tied to a place on the map: a point, a line or a polygon. These posts will still be associated with a topic, but they will also show up on the map. On the Discussion Page, go to the "Map" tab and add your comment. Give it a try!

During the meeting in Auburn on November 29, I came to understand that the SNAMP fisher study does not have any fishers with collars at this point, so the story I heard regarding fisher mortalities necessarily does not come from this study. However, my point remains unaffected, as several of the parties in the SNAMP study are on record as stating they believe the fisher population in the southern Sierra Nevada to be so fragile that the loss of even one female could be significant.

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