Splat Implementation - Aug 19, 2008

Splat Implementation - Aug 19, 2008 by George Terhune, at 12:15 p.m. on 9 September 2008,

Susie and others,

I did not mean to suggest that the SNAMP team should be held responsible for the design of the Last Chance SPLAT treatments. However, since you do claim that these treatments would support an adaptive management evaluation of the SPLAT strategy, I think you should be held responsible to choose a project which would permit a determination to be made of whether the strategic placement of Strategically Placed Area Treatments was successful or not. What I intended to suggest was that this project by its very nature would not permit that determination to be made, and thus was not a suitable subject for the SNAMP study. As I believe I said in the very first comments I made some years ago, your initial plan did not make good on your stated intention to examine the underlying concepts, but instead accepted the claims made for the SPLAT strategy without giving the strategic concept any critical examination. As evidenced by the Last Chance project, SNAMP was instead satisfied to examine some treatments claiming to be SPLATs, looking only at their local effects, paying no attention to whether they represented the pattern of treatments on the landscape, and would have the claimed strategic effect at landscape scale, which is the make-or-break question at the heart of the SPLAT strategy.

If you're unable or unwilling to examine SPLAT projects that actually would be capable of demonstrating the landscape-scale strategic benefits claimed in the Framework EIS, then I suggest that either you eliminate "SPLAT" from the description of what you are evaluating, or drop the whole thing. Otherwise you are wasting your time and resources, and worse yet, you risk producing a false evaluation of the SPLAT strategy. It's bad enough to have the Forest Service mis-characterizing and mis-using Finney's work by claiming to implement his theory while bastardizing it into something else entirely. It would be worse yet if those involved in the SNAMP program should either inadvertently or knowingly endorsed that corruption.

George Terhune

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