7 September 2010 Science Briefs

SNAMP Publication #1: Challenges and Approaches in Planning Fuel Treatments across Fire-Excluded Forested Landscapes

Brandon M. Collins, Scott L. Stephens, Jason J. Moghaddas, and John Battles

    Placing fuel reduction treatments across entire landscapes in order to lessen the impacts associated with high-intensity fire can be extremely difficult, largely because of the immense size of the area needing treatment. Because of this, fire scientists and managers have conceptually developed and are refining methodologies for the strategic placement of fuel treatments that more efficiently limit the spread and severity of fire across forested landscapes. These strategic treatments are often called SPLATs: Strategically Placed Landscape Treatments. Although these methodologies undoubtedly improve managers’ ability to plan and evaluate various landscape fuel treatment scenarios, there is still a considerable gap between modeling landscape fuel treatments and actually implementing these treatments “on the ground.” In this article we explore this gap in light of decisions managers make with regards to the type, intensity, placement/pattern, and size of fuel treatments. Additionally, we highlight several critical constraints acting on managers when implementing fuel treatments across landscapes. These include habitat preservation, human communities, regulations and appeals, and funding. We offer some suggestions for dealing with these constraints.

    Full Reference: Collins, B.M., Stephens, S.L., Moghaddas, J.J. and Battles, J., 2010. Challenges and Approaches in Planning Fuel Treatments across Fire-Excluded Forested Landscapes. Journal of Forestry 108(1): 24-31.

    The full paper is available at: http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/stephens-lab/Articles.htm.

    For more information about the SNAMP project and the Fire and Forest Ecosystem Health team, please see: http://snamp.cnr.berkeley.edu/teams/fire-forest-health

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