Print Friendly and PDF


Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 12-1-06-56

Year: 2012

Date Started: 06/01/2012

Ending Date:  06/30/2015

Title: Effects of Fuel Treatments on Fire-Risk and Habitat Suitability for the Mexican Spotted Owl

Project Proposal Abstract: Many forests in the western United States are at high risk of stand-replacing fire. To reduce that risk, land managers are implementing fuels reduction and forest restoration projects across increasingly larger areas. The effects of such treatments on biological resources are poorly known, and that uncertainty frequently results in appeals, lawsuits, and delayed decisions. This project will reduce this uncertainty by comprehensively evaluating treatment effects on the extent and connectivity of habitat for a federally listed Threatened species. We will use landscape dynamic-simulation modeling to evaluate tradeoffs among management alternatives, including no action, on both reducing fire risk and maintaining habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, under two climate scenarios. The net effect of restoration treatments on the frequency, size, and severity of fires may produce a large net benefit to spotted owls in terms of the amount and connectivity of forest habitat retained on the landscape. Quantifying the net effect of these trade-offs is essential to optimize management to simultaneously maintain well connected spotted owl habitat while reducing risk of catastrophic fire. This project is specifically designed to enable managers to weigh proposed management actions and tradeoffs that seek to balance fuel mitigation with maintaining Mexican spotted owl habitat connectivity. We will evaluate tradeoffs between fuel mitigation strategies and maintaining owl habitat areas using the following complementary approaches: 1. Use high-quality digital data layers characterizing the biophysical environment together with a dynamic landscape simulation model to evaluate a range of restoration types, extent, and spatial pattern, to quantify landscape-scale reductions in fire extent and severity under current climate conditions and a future climate scenario based on a suite of Global Circulation Models (GCMs). 2. Develop models of habitat suitability for Mexican spotted owls using existing spotted owl occurrence data and the digital data layers described above. 3. Quantify potential changes in habitat extent and connectivity for Mexican spotted owls across the study landscapes under alternative treatment and climate scenarios. 4. Compare actual changes in area and fragmentation of Mexican spotted owl habitat within the Wallow fire landscape with the likely effects of climate change and restoration treatments.

Principal Investigator: Samuel A. Cushman

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Budget Contact

Edith M. Cates

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Joseph L. Ganey

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Co-Principal Investigator

Steven E. Sesnie

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Region 2-Southwest Regional Office

Collaborator/Contributor

William M. Block

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Collaborator/Contributor

Shaula J. Hedwall

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Region 2-Ecological Services

Collaborator/Contributor

Jose M. Iniguez

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Collaborator/Contributor

James P. Ward Jr.

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

WO-Washington Office of FWS

Collaborator/Contributor

Matthew A. Williamson

Grand Canyon Trust

Flagstaff AZ Office

Funding Cooperator

Samuel A. Cushman

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station


Project Locations

Consortium

Southwest


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

AZ

MULTIPLE

STATE

NM

MULTIPLE


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

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