Print Friendly and PDF


Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 12-1-03-31

Year: 2013

Date Started: 12/15/2012

Ending Date:  11/30/2015

Title: Longevity and Effectiveness of Mechanical Mastication Treatments

Project Proposal Abstract: Longevity and Effectiveness of Mechanical Mastication Treatments PI: Dr. J. Morgan Varner, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA Co-PI: Dr. Eric E. Knapp, USDA Pacific Southwest Research Station, Redding, CA Collaborator: Dr. Stacy Drury, Sonoma Technology Inc. Mechanical mastication is an increasingly common fuels management treatment in fire-prone forests and rangelands in the US. Mastication is commonly used in fuelbreaks and along the wildland-urban interface, often in lieu of prescribed fire or other mechanical treatments. By reducing vertical fuels to a compact woody fuelbed, mastication allows improved firefighter access for fire suppression and can make subsequent prescribed fires easier to implement. This proposal directly addresses a need for information regarding the effectiveness and longevity of fuels treatments as stated in the JFSP 2011 RFA 2012-1. In Task 3: Fuel Treatment Effectiveness, the JFSP solicits proposals that will aid land managers in the decision-making process with respect to treating fuels across landscapes. As indicated in the RFA many factors influence fuel treatment effectiveness including treatment type, intensity, size, frequency, season, age, and site. In this proposal we propose to investigate the effectiveness and longevity of mechanical mastication as a fuels treatment in fire-prone northern California and southwest Oregon. Our past experience with masticated fuels provides us with a unique opportunity to identify the effectiveness and longevity of mastication across varying pre-treatment vegetation types, using contrasting mechanical methods, and across a variety of site characteristics. The results generated in this study will enhance the information available to land mangers regarding the viability of masticating fuels across landscapes by evaluating Topic 1) how effective are mastication treatments for meeting fire behavior objectives? Topic 2) how long are mastication treatments effective for meeting fire behavior mitigation objectives? and Topic 3) what measures of fire behavior or ecosystem response are useful indicators of fuels treatment effectiveness? What we know about the effects of mastication pales in comparison to what we dont: 1) the effects of time since treatment on vegetation recovery (in this region, primarily shrub re-growth); 2) changes in fuelbed characteristics over time (bulk density, fuelbed depth, particle density); and 3) the fundamental effects of fuelbed aging on potential fire behavior. All three areas above play a role in treatment effectiveness  the probability of modifying fire behavior and effects over the untreated condition. Providing useful metrics that rapidly assess how these fuels vary over time with respect to mitigating fire behavior will enable land managers to make more educated decisions about where and when to use mechanical mastication as a fuel treatment tool. In this proposal, we propose to utilize previously JFSP funded sites and a research team (Varner and Knapp) that was a model for JFSP success- reasonable budget, an abundance and breadth of science delivery (from field tours to talks to 7 peer-reviewed journal articles). We will exceed our past work via our lessons learned, improved capacity, and affiliation with the JFSP-funded California Science Delivery Consortium and the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. Finally, by collaborating closely with the developers of IFTDSS, we hope to integrate our findings to assist in fuels treatment planning.

Principal Investigator: Morgan J. Varner III

Agency/Organization: Mississippi State University

Branch or Dept: Department of Forestry


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Mary C Thoen

Humboldt State University

Sponsored Programs Foundation

Budget Contact

Mary C Thoen

Humboldt State University

Sponsored Programs Foundation

Co-Principal Investigator

Eric E. Knapp

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding

Collaborator/Contributor

Stacy A. Drury

Sonoma Technology Inc.

Fire & Forest Ecology

Funding Cooperator

Eric E. Knapp

Forest Service

PSW-Silviculture Lab-Redding


Project Locations

Consortium


Level

State

Agency

Unit

REGIONAL

Pacific Coast States

MULTIPLE


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
  ID Type Title
view or print   3483 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
  go to website 7448 Website Masticated Fuels Website

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

Convert PDF documents to an html document using Adobe's online conversion tool.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader