Document


Title

Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States
Document Type: Report
Author(s): David L. Peterson; Morris C. Johnson; James K. Agee; Theresa B. Jain; Donald McKenzie; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt
Publication Year: 2005

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • Abies grandis
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • diameter classes
  • Douglas-fir
  • FERA - Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
  • FIA - Forest Inventory and Analysis
  • fire exclusion
  • fire hazard
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • forest management
  • forest structure
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel treatments
  • GIS - geographic information system
  • grasses
  • Healthy Forests Restoration Act
  • Larix occidentalis
  • lichens
  • litter
  • low intensity burns
  • management plan
  • mosses
  • national forests
  • NFP - National Fire Plan
  • overstory
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine
  • population density
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • shrubs
  • silviculture
  • stand characteristics
  • statistical analysis
  • thinning
  • understory vegetation
  • woody fuels
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 609
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21449
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, 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.

Description

ANNOTATION: This document synthesizes the relevant scientific knowledge that can assist fuel-treatment projects on national forests and other public lands and contribute to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses and other assessments. It is intended to support science-based decision making for fuel management in dry forests of the Western United States at the scale of forest stands (about 1 to 200 acres). It highlights ecological principles that need to be considered when managing forest fuel and vegetation for specific conditions related to forest structure and fire hazard. It also provides quantitative and qualitative guidelines for planning and implementing fuel treatments through various silvicultural prescriptions and surface fuel treatments. ABSTRACT: Fire, in conjunction with landforms and climate, shapes the structure and function of forests throughout the Western United States, where millions of acres of forest lands contain accumulations of flammable fuel that are much higher than historical conditions owing to various forms of fire exclusion. The Healthy Forests Restoration Act mandates that public land managers assertively address this situation through active management of fuel and vegetation. This document synthesizes the relevant scientific knowledge that can assist fuel-treatment projects on national forests and other public lands and contribute to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses and other assessments. It is intended to support science-based decision making for fuel management in dry forests of the Western United States at the scale of forest stands (about 1 to 200 acres). It highlights ecological principles that need to be considered when managing forest fuel and vegetation for specific conditions related to forest structure and fire hazard. It also provides quantitative and qualitative guidelines for planning and implementing fuel treatments through various silvicultural prescriptions and surface fuel treatments. Effective fuel treatments in forest stands with high fuel accumulations will typically require thinning to increase canopy base height, reduce canopy bulk density, reduce canopy continuity, and require a substantial reduction in surface fuel through prescribed fire or mechanical treatment or both. Long-term maintenance of desired fuel loadings and consideration of broader landscape patterns may improve the effectiveness of fuel treatments.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (1.8 MB; pdf)
Citation:
Peterson, David L.; Johnson, Morris C.; Agee, James K.; Jain, Theresa B.; McKenzie, Donald; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D. 2005. Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-628. Portland, OR: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 30 p.