Both Southern France and California have large amounts of housing in the Wildland Urban Interface where local vegetation is highly dense and fire adapted. This research brief compares the land use policies used to reduce the exposure of homes to wildfire in these two locations.Read More
In the early 20th century, there was an intense controversy over systematic “light burning, the practice of using cool fire as a management tool (similar to what we call prescribed fires today). These practices for fire control were highly debated before fire suppression policies overwhelmingly prevailed. Presented here is a series of research briefs that review publications from this controversy at this interesting look into history.Read More
Abstract: Broad discretion is granted at all levels throughout federal land management agencies regarding compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We explored the diversity of procedures employed in NEPA processes across four agencies, the USDA Forest Service, the USDI National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through document review and interviews with chief NEPA compliance officers, interdisciplinary team leaders, team members, and decision makers within the agencies. A lack of consistency is highlighted not only between, but also within, agencies with regard to how NEPA is perceived and implemented. This report focuses on how successful NEPA processes are defined within each agency and what strategies are perceived to be the most or least beneficial to positive NEPA outcomes. It also identifies unresolved questions about NEPA processes and presents a research strategy for addressing them.Read More
This General Technical Report, from the PNW Research Station of the Forest Service, summarizes the findings of in-depth interviews with 12 district rangers on project design and implementation, and the effect of NEPA on those processes. A "Recommendations" section is included with general suggestions - based on the findings from the interviews - for how to managers in the Forest Service can write more accessible NEPA documents and improve the efficiency and outcomes of the NEPA process.
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Abstract: "As the large scale of fuel treatments needed to promote ecosystem health and reduce heavy fuel loads becomes clear in California’s mixed conifer forests, managers are beginning to focus on how to scale up prescribed fire use in order to treat a meaningful portion of the landscape. We look at the example of Western Australia’s large-scale and highly successful prescribed burning program by their Department of Environment and Conservation as a model for emulation by land management agencies in California. Focusing on: 1) novel management practices, 2) inter-agency collaboration, 3) regulatory collaboration and policy, 4) research integration, 5) cultural acceptance, and 6) political support of prescribed fire, we make recommendations for a new approach to the management and regulation of fire use in California’s mixed conifer forests."
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Presentation from the June 2013 Chaparral Restoration Workshop in Arcadia, CA. This presentation discusses the goals, opportunities, and limitations for restoration within the US Forest Service. It also discusses a developed template for postfire restoration plans.
Presenter: Hugh Safford, Regional Ecologist, US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.
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