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Project ID: 06-3-4-21

Year: 2006

Date Started: 07/07/2006

Date Completed: 03/31/2011

Title: Evaluating and Predicting Postfire Salvage Logging Effects on Erosion

Project Proposal Abstract: Legal challenges have delayed numerous postfire salvage logging sales, which often results in lost economic value of the burned timber and unrecouped legal expenses. The scientific literature shed little light on the additive effect of salvage logging operations on postfire runoff, erosion, flooding and sedimentation. Hence there is an urgent need to better understand the impacts of postfire salvage operations and to develop reliable prediction tools so that land managers can evaluate the relative effects of different salvage logging practices. Intensive, replicated, and multi-scale studies are needed because the effects of postfire logging are superimposed on the effect of wildfires, and the available data suggest a high variability in the effects of logging operations according to the type and extent of the logging, site conditions, and climatic conditions. To address this need, we are proposing an integrated network of process, hillslope-scale, and sub-watershed scale studies. To evaluate the underlying processes and determine key parameters, rill simulation studies will be conducted on sites affected by salvage logging (e.g., skid trails, forwarder/feller buncher tracks, and cable logging drag trails). Sediment production rates will be assessed from replicated hillslope-scale plots and related, if possible, to detailed measurements of the site conditions, including explicit evaluations of the changes in cover, rilling, and disturbance area due to salvage logging operations and associated erosion mitigation practices (e.g., intensive water barring). Runoff and sediment yield data will be collected from six paired sub-watersheds to determine whether the erosion prediction estimates can be aggregated to larger scales. Two pairs of logged/unlogged sub-watersheds have already been established with National Fire Plan Adaptive Management funds.

Principal Investigator: Peter R. Robichaud

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

William J. Elliot

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Moscow

Co-Principal Investigator

Lee H. MacDonald

Colorado State University

Department of Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship

Federal Cooperator

James Saveland

Forest Service

RMRS-Natural Resources Research Center

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Plains

Northern Rockies


Southern Rockies







Interior West



Pacific Coast States


Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    1407 Invited Paper/Presentation Latest Findings on Effectiveness of Various Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments and Salvage Logging-Bothel, WA
    5060 Poster Monitoring for Modeling
    4632 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Postfire Erosion Mitigation: Tools, Treatment, and Effectiveness-Bonneville, OR
    4633 Field Demonstration/Tour Assessing Soil and Vegetation Recovery Following the 2005 School Fire-Four Years Post-Fire-Pomeroy, WA
    4634 Training Session Effectiveness of Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments and Erosion Predictions (Dirt Goes Downhill)
    4637 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Update on New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Denver, CO
    4638 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Vegetation Response to Post-Fire Treatments-Tucson, AZ
    4639 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Effectiveness of Post-Fire Erosion Control Treatments-Tucson, AZ
    4823 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Update on New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Orlando, FL
    4824 Training Session BAER Treatment Effectiveness-Spokane, WA
    4825 Training Session Post-Fire Assessment-Spokane, WA
    4826 Conference/Symposia/Workshop New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Redding, CA
    4827 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Latest Findings on Effectiveness of Various Post-Fire Rehabilitation Treatments-Denver, CO
    4828 Invited Paper/Presentation Advances in Treatment Effectiveness-Moscow, ID
    5018 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Update on New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Albuquerque, NM
    5019 Training Session New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Ogden, UT
    5020 Training Session New Tools and Treatment Effectiveness-Vancouver, WA
    5021 Invited Paper/Presentation ERMiT: Introduction, Summary, Development (and a bit of GeoWEPP)-Missoula, MT
    5026 Invited Paper/Presentation Erosion Following Wildfire: Prediction, Mitigation and Monitoring-Dayton, WA
    5027 Invited Paper/Presentation Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT)-A Probability-Based Postfire Erosion Prediction Tool-Tucson, AZ
    3890 Invited Paper/Presentation Update on BAER Treatment Effectiveness and Salvage Logging Effects-Spokane, WA
    3891 Invited Paper/Presentation Vegetation Response to Fire, Rehabilitation Treatments and Salvage Logging-Pendleton, OR
    3892 Invited Paper/Presentation Latest Findings on Effeciveness of Various Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments and Salvage Logging-Bothel, WA
    3893 Invited Paper/Presentation Latest Findings on Effectiveness of Various Postfire Rehabilitation Treatments and Salvage Logging-Bothel, WA
    6741 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects of Different Post-Fire Treatments on Watershed Functions-Sacramento, CA
    6742 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects of Fires on Soils, Runoff, and Erosion: Processes and Rehabilitation-Valencia, Spain
    5987 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Postfire Erosion Mitigation: Tools, Treatment and Effectiveness: The Hayman Fire, Five Years Later-Breckenridge, CO

Supporting Documents

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