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Project ID: 12-1-01-18

Year: 2012

Date Started: 05/15/2012

Date Completed: 07/22/2015

Title: Repeated Prescribed Fires and Mechanical Fuel Treatments May Promote Multiple Management Objectives in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Project Proposal Abstract: Hardwood ecosystems of the southern Appalachian Mountains were described historically as having open canopies, few shrubs, and rich forest floor vegetation; oak regeneration was more common than other species because of frequent fire. Restoration is a common goal which usually involves re-introduction of fire or mechanical means of altering stand structure. In 2000, a team of federal, state, university, and private scientists and land managers designed the Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) study, an integrated national network including 12 study sites to measure impacts of fuel reduction treatments on a broad array of variables including flora, fauna, fuels, soils, forest health, and economics. Treatments were designed to restore ecosystems by re-establishing an ecosystem process (fire), stand structure (mechanical fuel reduction), or both. Most FFS sites were abandoned after reporting impacts that occurred within 1 year after treatment. However, managers at the FFS site in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western NC have been able to continue the prescribed burning treatment on a 3- to 5-year rotation. Management objectives included fuel reduction, game habitat, and restoration of open woodland habitat. The numerous variables measured in the first 5 years of the study strongly indicated that repeated entries of fire and/or mechanical treatments were necessary to reach management objectives. The southern Appalachian site of the FFS Study is the first and only study in the region where vegetation, fuels, and soils have been measured after repeated prescribed burning, so the study has the potential to provide much basic information. A better understanding of this information will allow a better job of establishing objectives and planning management activities to reach those objectives.

Principal Investigator: Thomas A. Waldrop

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: SRS-Department of Forest Resources


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Joyce M. Gorgas

Forest Service

SRS-Southern Research Station

Budget Contact

Shelly M. Gates

Forest Service

SRS-Southern Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Mac A. Callaham

Forest Service

SRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Athens GA

Funding Cooperator

Thomas A. Waldrop

Forest Service

SRS-Department of Forest Resources


Project Locations

Consortium

Appalachian


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

NC

STATE

State Lands


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
view or print go to website 1822 Government Publication Proceedings, Wildland fire in the Appalachians:discussions among fire managers and scientists
view or print go to website 1823 Government Publication The National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study: 11 years of fuels management research in the southern Ap
view or print go to website 1824 Government Publication Impact of rainfall on moisture content of large woody fuels
view or print go to website 1825 Government Publication Fuel-loading following fuel reduction treatments and impacts from natural disturbances
view or print go to website 1826 Government Publication Occurrance and spread of nonnative invasive plants treated with fire and/or mechanical treatments
view or print go to website 1827 Government Publication Bird response to fire severity and repeated burning in an upland hardwood forest
view or print go to website 1828 Government Publication Synthesis on the effects of fire on southern Appalachian fauna
view or print go to website 1829 Government Publication Restoration in the southern Appalachians: a dialog among scientists, planners, and land managers
view or print go to website 3603 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print go to website 3604 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print go to website 3605 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print go to website 7652 Photo Impacts of fuel reduction treatments after one growing season
view or print go to website 7653 Photo Chronosequence of changes to stand structure by the mechanical-only treatment
view or print go to website 7654 Photo Chronosequence of changes to stand structure by the burn-only treatment
view or print go to website 7655 Photo Chronosequence of changes to stand structure by the mechanical+burn treatment

Supporting Documents

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