A Cohesive Strategy for Protecting People and Sustaining Natural Resources: Predicting Outcomes for Program Options
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Wendel J. Hann; Mark Beighley; Peter D. Teensma; Tim Sexton; Mike W. Hilbruner
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • FRCC - Fire Regime Condition Class
  • landscape ecology
  • NIFTT - National Interagency Fuels Technology Transfer
  • wildland fire
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 23, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 296


Analyses were conducted of fire and fuel management options for 172 million hectares (424 million acres) of Forest Service and Interior public lands in the contiguous lower 48 states. A landscape dynamics model was calibrated based on fire regime condition class (FRCC). A linked set of predictive coefficients was developed to assess outcomes for people and ecosystems. These outcomes indicate that use of a landscape restoration approach with a budget level of 850 to 900 million dollars per year, with a mix of 2/3 to non-wildland urban interface (NWUI) maintenance and restoration, with 7 to 8 million acres of treatment per year, and 1/3 to wildland urban interface (WUI), with 300 to 500 thousand acres of treatment, would stop the increase in risk to both communities and ecosystems. Emphasizing fuel management in WUI alone, without a landscape context, was not effective in reducing risk to people because of risks to WUI from surrounding and adjacent landscapes. WUI alone resulted in the inability to effectively use relatively low cost wildland fire use, because of lack of risk reduction in landscapes between NWUI landscapes and WUI landscapes, as well as substantial degradation to ecosystems. The landscape restoration approach prioritizes landscapes based on integrated risks to people and ecosystems, uses the historical or natural range of variability as a reference for the characteristic regime, reduces risk on surrounding and adjacent landscapes of uncharacteristic fire and firebrand production, as well as reduces intermingled WUI risks, and identifies the most cost-effective spatial and temporal mix of mechanical, hand, prescribed fire, and wildland fire use. Effectiveness includes reduction of risks to people and ecosystems, as well as reducing risks of escaped prescribed fires or wildland fire use, or of unwanted wildland fires (wildfires) escaping initial attack. Program options were also assessed that can arrest or reduce increases in risk to communities or ecosystems, and in priority areas.

Hann, Wendel; Beighley, Mark; Teensma, Peter; Sexton, Tim; Hilbruner, Mike. 2004. A cohesive strategy for protecting people and sustaining natural resources: predicting outcomes for program options. Presented at Fire, Fuel Treatments, and Ecological Restoration Conference, 2002 16-18 April, Fort Collins, CO. 36 p.

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