September 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue


Landscape-level Fuels Workshop


Join us December 1st and 2nd for a landscape-level fuels workshop - From Theory to Practice: Landscape-Level Restoration Principles.
This workshop will take place at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, a 28,000-acre, outdoor, dry mixed-conifer forest laboratory and classroom 30 miles northeast of Missoula, MT.

Workshop objectives are to:
  • Demonstrate and discuss methods for expanding project planning from stand- to landscape-based planning.
  • Discuss, capture, and disseminate successes and challenges encountered during landscape-based project planning.
The NRFSN has partnered with the Southwestern Crown Collaborative, USFS - Blackfoot-Swan Restoration Project and Rocky Mountain Research Station, and National Forest Foundation to offer this workshop.

Wilderness Fire - Learning from the Past


Did you miss the Wilderness Workshop and Field Trips at Spotted Bear in July? You can still learn more about wilderness fire science and management from our past event page.

Re-caps of the backcountry and frontcountry field trips and presentations from the workshop are provided so you can learn from past, current, and future wilderness fire champions involved in fire management and research.

If you'd like to see this event repeated in other wilderness areas, send your suggestions to Vita Wright.

2nd International Smoke Symposium


Can't make it to Long Beach, CA? Connect to the 2nd International Smoke Symposium (ISS2) Conference virtually.

The ISS2 is being conducted as a hybrid event, combining in-person and streaming presentations. All plenary and concurrent sessions will be streamed live. There will also be a virtual poster session and trade show.

Virtual access to the conference is available for single days ($85) and for the conference entirety ($100-$255, depending on your membership and registration date).

If interested in attending with other professionals in Missoula, Boise, Kalispell, or other Northern Rockies locations, complete this form.

Register now for the in-person or virtual conference.

New Releases from FEIS

The Fire Effects Information System just published the Fire Regimes of Northern Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Communities and the literature synthesis on the fire ecology of Greater and Gunnison Sage-Grouse.

Fire Regimes of Northern Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Communities
involved a review of more than 300 publications and found that -
  • Prior to fire exclusion, low- to moderate-severity surface fires typically burned every 6 to 13 years, and stand-replacement surface or crown fires were less frequent.
  • Since fire exclusion, many ponderosa pine communities are denser and multistoried, dominated by Douglas-fir, and have higher fuels loads than in presettlement times.
  • Managing for resilience in these communities requires reducing fuel loads, restoring historical stand structure, and returning frequent fire to the landscape.
The synthesis on the fire ecology of the Greater and Gunnison Sage-Grouse cites more than 300 publications and reports that -
  • Greater sage-grouse occurs in 56% of its historical range (pre-1800) and Gunnison sage-grouse in <10%.
  • While fire removes sagebrush plants that provide essential thermal and security cover and food year-round, it also creates openings useful as lek sites.
  • Sage-grouse generally avoid nesting in young (<20 years old) burns, and burned sagebrush communities may not provide adequate cover for wintering for decades following fire.

LANDFIRE Review of Big Sagebrush Ecosystems

LANDFIRE is conducting reviews of the Intermountain Basins Big Sagebrush Shrubland and the Intermountain Basins Big Sagebrush Steppe ecosystems.

There has only been minimal opportunity to see how different Biophysical (BpS) Models relate to one another and to evaluate if they make ecological and regional sense. So, to answer these questions, LANDFIRE identified key questions and developed tailored materials to support macro reviews of the above sagebrush ecosystems that will examine how ecosystems function across their entire range.

LANDFIRE is asking for your comments, and to guide you through this review process, there will be a webinar Sept. 27 at 12:30 MST.

WindNinja Mobile App Available


WindNinja Mobile allows field-going personnel to predict wind fields in complex terrain, which can improve the identification of areas where local winds may or may not influence fire behavior.

The mobile app allows WindNinja simulations to run on a remote server. When simulations are complete, results can be downloaded and viewed anywhere Internet connectivity is available. Once downloaded, wind vectors can be viewed without the Internet.

Learn more from the news release.

2017 JFSP Funding Opportunities 

The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) is now accepting proposals for funding for the 2017 fiscal year.

Many of the funding opportunity notices have potential for Northern Rockies region research. These include:
  • Landscape fuel treatment strategies and wildfire management
  • Effects of changing wildfire management strategies
  • Fire effects on herbaceous and shrub species
  • Post-fire recovery in sage-grouse habitats
  • Validating mesoscale, atmospheric boundary prediction models and tools
  • Factors that affect the co-management of wildland fire risk
  • Graduate research innovation (GRIN) awards
To learn more and view all funding opportunities, visit the JFSP website.

2016 Yellowstone Fire Season


As of September 21, there have been 22 fires and 62,000 acres burned in Yellowstone National Park. Of these fires: 
  • 7 were human-caused
  • 11 were suppressed to protect values at risk
  • 5 were managed to allow fire to play its natural role
  • The largest managed fire has burned 45,000 acres
This year is the most active fire year since 1988. Read more about this fire season from the National Park Service fire season summary and press release

You can also learn more about Yellowstone fire history and ecology from our past event page.

Sept 26
A Science Framework for Assessing Threats to Sagebrush Ecosystems and Greater Sage-Grouse and Prioritizing Conservation and Restoration Actions

Sept 27
Biophysical Settings Review in the Great Basin: What it is. How it Works. Why it Matters.

Sept 27
From Pixels to Landscapes: Leveraging LANDFIRE for Land Management

Oct 6
Fire and Smoke Modeling Experiment (FASMEE) Project 

Nov 4
Predicting Climate Change Impacts on Big Sagebrush Populations: Diverse Models Project Similar Response to Rising Temperatures

Nov 10
Fire Adapted Cities: Prescribed Fire Use in Urban and Community Forest Management

Nov 30
Prepared for Transformation? Ecosystem Change, Uncertainty, and Adaptation in US Public Land Management

Dec 7
Sustaining Wildland Ecosystems
Search the NRFSN Webinar Archive for recordings of past webinars

Sept 25-29
International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Conference
Kenora, ON

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

Oct 17-21
2016 Mountain Climate Conference
Leavenworth, WA

Oct 18-19
Restoring the West Conference 2016 - Climate, Disturbance, and Restoration in the Intermountain West
Logan, UT

Oct 18-21
43rd Natural Areas Conference
Davis, CA

Oct 24-27
Wildland Fire Canada 2016: Building Resilience
Kelowna, BC

Oct 28
National Smoke Forum 2016
Kelowna, BC

Nov 2-6
2016 Society of American Foresters National Convention
Madison, WI

Nov 14-16
7th Annual Northwest Climate Conference
Stevenson, WA

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

Nov 28-Dec 2
3rd Southwest Fire Ecology Conference 
Tucson, AZ

Dec 1-2
Landscape-level Fuels Workshop
Lubrecht Exp Forest, MT

Jan 26-27
Science Talk NW
Portland, OR

Search the NRFSN Research & Publications Database

Fire Behavior -
Fuel loads and simulated fire behavior in 'old-stage' beetle-infested ponderosa pine of the Colorado Plateau

The impact of aging on laboratory fire behaviour in masticated shrub fuelbeds of California and Oregon, USA

Fire and Bark Beetles - 
Climate influences on whitebark pine mortality from mountain pine beetle in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Cumulative disturbance on the landscape: lessons from the Pole Creek fire, Oregon

Mountain pine beetles: A century of knowledge, control attempts, and impacts central to the Black Hills

Fire and Economics -
Clearing the smoke from wildfire policy: an economic perspective

Fire Effects -
Greater and Gunnison sage-grouse FEIS review

Identifying key climate and environmental factors affecting rates of post-fire big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) recovery in the northern Columbia Basin, USA

Infiltration and interrill erosion rates after a wildfire in western Montana, USA

Reburns and their impact on carbon pools, site productivity, and recovery

Shrub succession on eight mixed-severity wildfires in western Montana, northeastern Oregon, and northern Idaho

Fire History / Fire Regimes - 
Fire regimes of Northern Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine communities

Fire Operations -
Mobile technology cheat sheet developed by the Wildland Mobile Technology Working Group

Fire and People -
Facilitating knowledge transfer between researchers and wildfire practitioners about trust: an international case study

Places where wildfire potential and social vulnerability coincide in the coterminous United States

Tribal engagement roadmap highlights report

Fire Severity -
Recovering lost ground: effects of soil burn intensity on nutrients and ectomycorrhiza communities of ponderosa pine seedlings

Soil heating during the complete combustion of mega-logs and broadcast burning in central Oregon USA pumice soils

Smoke & Air Quality -
Particulate air pollution from wildfires in the western US under climate change

Smoke management photographic guide: a visual aid for communicating impacts

Wildland Urban Interface -
Climate change beliefs and hazard mitigation behaviors: homeowners and wildfire risk

Setting priorities for private land conservation in fire-prone landscapes: Are fire risk reduction and biodiversity conservation competing or compatible objectives?

BBC's Up All Night highlights research and equipment unique to the Fire Lab. Story at 3:53:57 and access expires 9/30/2016.

CBS This Morning features fire science research at the Missoula Fire Lab with Mark Finney, Research Forester and Sara McAllister, Research Mechanical Engineer.

Hot Pursuit article discusses fire research and management developments for dealing with more and larger fires in the future.

New biography of Morton J Elrod. UM's first biology professor, Elrod, founded the Flathead Lake Biological Station and played a role in the creation of Glacier National Park.

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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