Monday, September 19, 2016

Using Fire for Resource Benefit Can Assist in Restoration and Maintenance of Sierra Nevada Forests





In our continued support of using fire for resource benefit, I've come across this study, recently released that suggests that fire management approaches used by the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park could assist in the restoration and maintenance of Sierra Nevada forest ecosystems.
 
The authors compared wildfires that burned between 1984 and 2009 among ecoregions, forest types, and land management agencies in the Sierra Nevada, Southern Cascades, and Modoc Plateau of California.  

Irrespective of forest type, high severity percentage and high severity patch size were lower in Yosemite National Park than on Forest Service lands. Yosemite fires were also smaller on average than fires on Forest Service lands.  

The authors suggest that restoring fire as an ecological process, including increased management of wildfires for resource benefit, would reduce fuel loads and stand densities across broad scales even under current climate conditions. This fire regime restoration could enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems and reduce the impacts of future wildfires on Forest Service lands in the ecoregion.

For more about the study and management implications, read the research brief here.  And read full article here.

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