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Landscape study may offer solutions for fire managers
Date:7/24/2008

while maintaining the overarching goal of the reserve, which is to sustain older forests.

Some the key findings of Hummel's study are:

  • Fire threat is projected to increase sharply within the coming decade in the Gotchen Late-Successional Reserve. Fuels are increasing on hundreds of acres annually as trees die in association with persistent insect defoliation.

  • Treating more area of young, noncomplex forest reduced fire threat more effectively in the Gotchen Reserve than did treating structurally complex old-forest patches.

  • Treatments sometimes lost money and sometimes made money at the scale of an individual unit. However, when the treatments were evaluated in aggregate for the entire Gotchen Reserve, they could break even over the 30-year analysis period while supporting reserve objectives for maintaining old-forest structure and reducing fire threat. In contrast, requiring landscape treatments to earn a profit negatively impacted both habitat and fire objectives over the same analysis period.

  • In landscape treatments that generated revenue to offset implementation costs in the Gotchen Reserve, wood volume came mainly from grand fir in the 7- to 16-inch diameter classes.

"The methods we usedlinking landscape dynamics and patterns of forest structure to stand-level silvicultural treatments by considering the treatments collectively rather than on a unit-by-unit basiscould be used anywhere that multiple management objectives share a common basis in forest management," says Hummel.


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Contact: Yasmeen Sands
ysands@fs.fed.us
206-732-7823
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

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