Simulation - a thinking tool
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Freeman M. Smith; Louis T. Egging
Editor(s): Richard J. Barney
Publication Year: 1979

Cataloging Information

  • fire management
  • fire simulation
  • natural resource management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 13910


Today, natural resource managers and scientists are required to evaluate and even anticipate the effects that management practices for a single resource will have on the production or use of all other natural resources. For example, a successful prescribed fire will accomplish the management objective for thinning and maintaining the desired stand age-structure. However, it is difficult to quantitatively evaluate the effects of the fire on wildlife habitat structure, forage and browse production, water yield, erosion, and recreation. After a fire, how long will it be before production of the other resources is restored or stabilized? If the fire were prescribed for a different time in the year, would the effects be the same? What would be the effects of a fire with a different intensity? Are some of the effects on the other natural resources in the ecosystem dependent on how long ago the same area was burned? If the same area were burned again 10 years from now, what would be the stage of plant and animal succession? Questions such as these and many more must be the concern of the forest manager. With so many factors, conditions, interrelationships, and variables involved in judging the effects of fire on a specific ecosystem, it is extremely difficult to be sure "all bases are covered."

Online Link(s):
Smith, Freeman M.; Egging, Louis T. 1979. Simulation - a thinking tool. Pages 12-16 in: Barney, Richard J. (compiler). Proceedings of Fire Working Group, Society of American Foresters National Convention, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 4, 1977. General Technical Report INT-GTR-49. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.