UCST response to George Terhune comments dated 3/18/10

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.

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