Restoring fire to ecosystems: methods vary with land management goals
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. W. Mutch; W. A. Cook
Editor(s): C. C. Hardy; S. F. Arno
Publication Year: 1996

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • Blue Mountains
  • cutting
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire exclusion
  • fire hazard reduction
  • Florida
  • forest management
  • land management
  • landscape ecology
  • liability
  • logging
  • mountains
  • multiple resource management
  • national forests
  • natural resource legislation
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • partial cutting
  • salvage
  • thinning
  • trees
  • US Forest Service
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38250
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12814
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:INT-341
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the Current Solutions...'Some breakthroughs in providing more latitude for expanding prescribed fire programs are apparent. For example, the state of Florida has enacted innovative legislation that provides liability protection for prescribed burning. In Oregon, a cooperative program among Federal and state agencies is developing a fire emissions tradeoff model (USDA Forest Service 1993) that predicts smoke emissions from prescribed fires and wildfires in the Blue Mountains. The goal of this effort is to design a prescribed burning and fuel treatment program that reduces overall smoke emissions (Ottmar, this proceedings). The Western States Air Resources Council (WESTAR), a nonprofit association of air quality agencies in the 14 western states, has drafted an initiative entitled 'Forest Health Initiative to Restore Ecosystems' (FIRES) to address both technical and policy-related issues for forest health and air quality. The goal of the 3 year project is to bring together a broad-based consortium to develop regional solutions based on science and to balance the needs of forest heath while protecting air quality. FIRES will respond to the concerns of Congress, the western state air regulators, Federal land management agencies, and the public (WESTAR 1994). These initiatives help to provide more latitude for prescribed fire programs to evolve in a more supportive environment. Because many stands are now excessively dense and contain many dead and dying trees (Mutch and others 1993), salvage logging, thinning, and partial cutting may be necessary before initiating extensive prescribed burning programs (Arno and others, this proceedings). The larger trees of fire-resistant species, such as ponderosa pine and western larch, should be retained, and understory trees should be largely removed. In other situations, resource managers and fire managers have conducted some landscape scale prescribed burns, including the following examples from 1993 and 1994: a 16,000 acre burn on the Santa Fe National Forest; a 700 acre prescribed fire for wildlife winter range on the Lob National Forest; a 1,000 acre burn on the Boise National Forest; a 6,000 acre prescribed fire on the Umatilla National Forest; and a 5,000 acre aerially ignited crown fire on the Tetlin Wildlife Refuge in Alaska (Vanderlinden, this proceedings).' From the Conclusions...'Resource management agencies, regulatory agencies, politicians, and society have a challenging opportunity to carry out meaningful ecological restoration programs. These must be at a scale large enough to sustain the health of fire-adapted ecosystems, benefitting people, property, and natural resources. Society needs to move away from litigation and the courtroom as strategies for managing natural resources. Instead, we should employ the available scientific knowledge and management experience for managing wildland ecosystems more in harmony with disturbance efforts.'

Mutch, R. W., and W. A. Cook. 1996. Restoring fire to ecosystems: methods vary with land management goals, in Hardy, C. C. and Arno, S. F., The use of fire in forest restoration: a general session at the annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration. Seattle, WA. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station,Ogden, UT. p. 9-11,General Technical Report INT-341.