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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From PSW website: "An efficient raster fire-spread model named HFire is introduced. HFire can simulate single-fire events or long-term fire regimes, using the same fire-spread algorithm. This paper describes the HFire algorithm, benchmarks the model using a standard set of tests developed for FARSITE, and compares historical and predicted fire spread perimeters for three southern California fires. HFire is available for download at http://firecenter.berkeley.edu/hfire/."
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This research project assessed the accuracy of three different smoke models (CALPUFF, DAYSMOKE, and CMAQ) at predicting PM2.5 emissions from prescrubed burn and wildfire events in the southeastern United States. Past fire events were modeled, and models were compared to observed data from the actual events.
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