Project Objectives: Land managers and researchers from the Department of Agriculture (Forest Service), Department of Interior (National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management), and universities will work collaboratively to complete the design of an integrated national long-term study to learn the consequences of producing and maintaining one or more desired stand conditions using (1) cuttings and mechanical fuel treatments alone (i.e., without fire), (2) fire alone (via multiple prescribed burns), and (3) combinations of cuttings, mechanical fuel treatments, and prescribed fire. Untreated controls will also be included. Such a study will enable scientists to determine, for a wide range of forest conditions and sites, which ecosystem flinctions of fire can be emulated satisfactorily by other means, which may be irreplaceable, and the implications for management. The specific goals of this proposal are to: 1. Reach agreement on appropriate scope for the national study in terms of vegetation types and fire regimes; finalize the basic elements of the common experimental design; develop guidelines for site selection; determine core response variables and standard data collection protocols to be utilized on all of the research sites; and determine standards for data management and analysis across sites. These accomplishments will be facilitated during interactions and discussions at three workshops/field meetings held at selected research sites. 2. Develop support for and ownership in the project on the part of land managers, stakeholders, and public by seeking their ideas, input and involvement. This will be accomplished by holding public/stakeholder site visits/workshops at each of the 12 proposed field locations, hosted by a subset of the investigators. 3. Produce a comprehensive proposal to be submitted to the Joint Fire Science Program to investigate the effectiveness and ecological consequences of fire and fire surrogate treatments. Although the proposal will receive extensive "internal" review by project participants, a final measure of its validity will be favorable review by a panel of outside reviewers.