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Project ID: 16-1-05-13

Year: 2016

Date Started: 10/01/2016

Ending Date:  09/30/2019

Title: Effects of post-fire management on vegetation and fuels following successive wildfires

Project Proposal Abstract: Increasing incidence of large wildfires with extensive high severity effects across the western U.S. has shifted the attention of land managers towards post-fire landscapes. Restoration of specific resources damaged by wildfire has traditionally been the focus of management efforts; however there is growing recognition that larger scale post-fire management may be needed to promote resilience to future reburns, increase biodiversity, and reestablish pre-fire vegetation types, such as montane mixed conifer forests. Previous work conducted by many of the same investigators on this proposed study demonstrated that high severity fire effects in an initial fire can create conditions, such as standing snags and dense shrub vegetation that promote high severity fire effects in subsequent reburns. This potential feedback trajectory with subsequent fires (i.e. one in which extensive stand-replacing fire will promote more stand-replacing fire) has the potential for long-term state change from forest to persistent shrubland or grassland. In our previous work, we hypothesized that post-fire management had the potential to alter vegetation and fuels trajectories, and shift the fire regime back towards low to moderate severity fires that promote landscape-scale forest heterogeneity and structural diversity. In our proposed study we intend to test this hypothesis to determine if post-fire management activities (e.g. tree planting, thinning, salvage logging, and fuel reduction) can significantly affect fire severity and influence plot and landscape-scale vegetation patterns and fuel loadings after subsequent reburns. Our study area is located in the northern Sierra Nevada of California on the Plumas and Lassen National Forests. We propose to resample an extensive set of field plots that were established after the 2000 Storrie and 2008 Rich fires and were subsequently reburned by the 2012 Chips Fire. We will also incorporate LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) derived vegetation and fuels information to expand our analysis to the landscape scale. Our intent is to provide fire and fuels managers with critical information about how to manage post-fire landscapes before undesirable, long-term vegetation and fuels trajectories have been established as a result of successive, high severity fires.

Principal Investigator: Michelle L. Coppoletta

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: Plumas National Forest


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Louise M. Ewen

Forest Service

Region 5-Pacific Southwest Region

Budget Contact

Robin L. Carmichael

Forest Service

Plumas National Forest

Co-Principal Investigator

Brandon M. Collins

Forest Service

PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center

Co-Principal Investigator

Scott H. Markwith

Florida Atlantic University

Geosciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Kyle M. Merriam

Forest Service

Modoc National Forest

Collaborator/Contributor

Ryan K Bauer

Forest Service

Plumas National Forest

Collaborator/Contributor

Patrick T. Doyle

Forest Service

Lassen NF-Almanor Ranger District

Funding Cooperator

Brandon M. Collins

Forest Service

PSW-Sierra Nevada Research Center


Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

California


Level

State

Agency

Unit

STATE

CA

FS

Plumas National Forest

STATE

CA

FS

Lassen National Forest


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.

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