June 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue


-Field Trip & Workshop -

Wilderness Fire in the Bob Marshall

Learn from and interact with past, current, and future wilderness fire champions involved in fire management July 13 and 14 at Spotted Bear Ranger Station.

Target audience for this event includes: line officers, fire managers, wilderness managers, researchers, and others interested in wilderness fire management.
  • Field trip is July 13 from 1-5 pm. Attendees will visit several recent fires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Frontcounty. Field trip will be followed by a BBQ and celebration of past wilderness fire management and managers.
  • Workshop is July 14 from 8:30-3 at the Spotted Bear Ranger Station.
Participants can attend the field trip, workshop, or both, but space is limited so register ASAP.

Once registered, participants must contact Seth Carbonari, FMO Spotted Bear RD, 406 758-6461 to discuss lodging and other logistics.

- Research Brief -

Wildland Fire as a Fuel Treatment


This research brief by Sean Parks, Research Ecologist with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute compiles information from several of his recent publications about the effectiveness and longevity of wildland fire as a fuel treatment.

Because wildfires consume fuels and alter vegetation structure, they can serve as fuel treatments similar to more traditional means (e.g., mechanical or prescribed fire). To consider previously burned areas when managing subsequent fires, managers need information pertaining to the effectiveness and longevity of wildland fires as fuel treatments. 

Key research findings were that:
  • Wildland fire acts as a fuel treatment by limiting the
    occurrence, size, and severity of subsequent fires.
  • The ability of wildland fire to act as a fuel treatment diminishes with time after fire and this time varied by study area.
  • Under extreme weather conditions, the ability of
    wildland fire to act as a fuel treatment is reduced.
Read the full research brief.

- At a Glance -

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation

The Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF), an NRFSN partner, is a science-based non-profit devoted to the preservation of whitebark pine ecosystems.

The WPEF supports whitebark pine conservation through education, research, development, restoration, and management involving collaboration and partnerships with government institutions, individual communities and citizens, and other conservation organizations.

Join the WPEF in Whitefish, MT for it's Annual Science and Management Workshop September 16-18.

Learn more and register at the event webpage.

- News - 

Missoula Fire Lab Scientist Transitions

Thomas Dzomba recently accepted the Deputy Program Manager position with the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Fire, Fuels, and Smoke Science Program. Tom was most recently the Air Resource and Smoke Management Assistant Director for the Northern Region Fire, Aviation, and Air Program.

Jack Cohen, Research Physical Scientist for the Missoula Fire Science Laboratory announced his retirement. Jack began in wildland fire research in the early 1970s. His career includes major contributions to Fire Danger Rating Systems, fire behavior predictions systems, and wildland-urban fire disaster mitigation.

Jane Kapler Smith, Ecologist and FEIS Lead Scientist, retired earlier this year. Jane's career focused on synthesizing scientific knowledge for managers and development and use of hands-on learning tools for students and teachers through her FireWorks program.

Ilana Abrahamson has replaced Jane as the Supervisory Ecologist overseeing the FEIS and FireWorks programs. Ilana received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton and her master’s degree in forestry from the University of Montana.

July 14
Land Use Planning to Reduce Wildfire Risk: Lessons from 5 Western Cities
Search the NRFSN Webinar Archive

July 13-14
Wilderness Fire Management Field Trip and Workshop
Spotted Bear Ranger Station, MT

Aug 8-10
Western Regional Extension Forestry Meeting
Park City, UT

September 16-18
2016 Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Science and Management Conference
Whitefish, MT

Oct 4-6
13th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Grand Teton National Park, WY

Oct 24-28
Wildland Fire Canada 2016: Towards a Resilient Future
Kelowna, BC

November 14-17
2nd International Smoke Symposium
Long Beach, CA

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Fire Effects -
Avian relationships with wildfire at two dry forest locations with different historical fire regimes

Burning the legacy? Influence of wildfire reburn on dead wood dynamics in a temperate conifer forest

Twenty-four years after the Yellowstone Fires: are postfire lodgepole pine stands converging in structure and function?

Fire and Future Climate -
Charred forests accelerate snow albedo decay: parameterizing the post-fire radiative forcing on snow for three years following fire

Engaging communities and climate change futures with Multi-Scale, Iterative Scenario Building (MISB) in the western United States

Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring

The effects of climate change and extreme wildfire events on runoff erosion over a mountain watershed

Fire History -
Average stand age from forest inventory plots does not describe historical fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America

Fire and People -
Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world

Fire and Wilderness - 
Progress in wilderness fire science: embracing complexity

Time shows wisdom of letting some wilderness fires roam freely

Wilderness in the 21st Century: A framework for testing assumptions about ecological intervention in wilderness using a case study of fire ecology in the Rocky Mountains

Fuel Treatments -
Tamm Review: Are fuel treatments effective at achieving ecological and social objectives? A systematic review

Invasive Species -
Cascading effects of fire retardant on plant-microbe interactions, community composition, and invasion

Management / Monitoring -
Administrative and judicial review of NEPA decisions: risk factors and risk minimizing strategies for the Forest Service

Restoration -
Production possibility frontiers and socioecological tradeoffs for restoration of fire adapted forests

Salvage Logging -
Effects of post-fire logging on fuel dynamics in a mixed-conifer forest, Oregon, USA: a 10-year assessment

Wildland Urban Interface -
Living with fire: how social scientists are helping wildland-urban interface communities reduce wildfire risk

Using community archetypes to better understand differential community adaptation to wildfire risk

CONTACT US -- We'd like to hear your suggestions, ideas, and questions.

Vita Wright, Principal Investigator               |  406.396.5374                   
US Forest Service, Kalispell, Montana

Corey Gucker, Coordinator  |  208.373.4342 
US Forest Service, Boise, Idaho

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