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Comprehensive Fuels Treatment Practices Guide for Mixed Conifer Forests: California, Central and Southern Rockies, and the Southwest

Comprehensive Fuels Treatment Practices Guide for Mixed Conifer Forests: California, Central and Southern Rockies, and the Southwest

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A resource for managers of mixed conifer forests of the Southwestern plateaus and uplands, the Central and Southern Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges in Southern California. Mixed conifer forests have different species, structures, and spatial patterns in these regions but, in general, we focus on forests with a mix of ponderosa or Jeffrey pine, Douglas-fir, true firs, and aspen. The guide includes a comprehensive review of historic conditions, past land use, natural fire regimes, impacts of altered fire regimes, and future prospects, given climate change, for mixed conifer forests. The second half of the guide addresses fuels treatment objectives, techniques, barriers, and successes across a range of ownerships.
A resource for managers of mixed conifer forests of the Southwestern plateaus and uplands, the Central and Southern Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges in Southern California. Mixed conifer forests have different species, structures, and spatial patterns in these regions but, in general, we focus on forests with a mix of ponderosa or Jeffrey pine, Douglas-fir, true firs, and aspen. The guide includes a comprehensive review of historic conditions, past land use, natural fire regimes, impacts of altered fire regimes, and future prospects, given climate change, for mixed conifer forests. The second half of the guide addresses fuels treatment objectives, techniques, barriers, and successes across a range of ownerships.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Joint Fire Science Program on Oct 25, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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12/18/2012

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A manager’s decision about how to address wildfire hazard must take into account first the
objectives for the forests and then the relative effectiveness of each treatment option, their
impacts, and the requirements for implementing them. The effectiveness, impacts, and
requirements of fuels treatment alternatives differ with each site, but research and managers’
experience suggest trends for mixed conifer forests. Managers’ decisions about how to address
fuels treatment must next be put through the planning process. On many land ownerships, the
planning process ensures compliance with an array of regulations and requires consultation with
wildlife, archeology, and hydrology specialists. Smoke management may require permits or at
least dialogue with air quality regulators. On federal lands, National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) analyses and similar assessments require managers to consider the effects of fuels
treatments on fire hazard and natural resources. Neighboring landowners and the general public
are key stakeholders in fuels treatment planning, and encouraging their support for a project can
be a key to its success. This section and the next assist in planning fuels treatments. Section V
discusses the effectiveness of different treatment techniques and Section VI addresses the
potential impacts of fuels treatments on air quality, wildlife habitat, and other forest values.

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