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Project ID: 01-1-3-25

Year: 2002

Date Started: 05/30/2002

Date Completed: 05/31/2006

Title: Prescribed Fire Strategies to Restore Wildlife Habitat in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Intermountain West

Project Proposal Abstract: Prescribed burning often focuses on reducing fire hazard with little consideration given to the effects of fire management on wildlife and their habitats. Yet, many avian species, including several species designated as Sensitive Species by Federal and state agencies, depend on fire patterns for their dispersal and movements. Cavity-nesting birds, in particular, are often tied to fire-prone forests, and are responsive to fire and timber management activities. The link between fuel management and post-fire bird communities is of particular concern in ponderosa pine forests. Indeed, the USDA Forest Service estimates that over 40 million acres of ponderosa pine are susceptible to uncharacteristic fires, including communities in the wildland urban interface. However, a lack of scientific information prevents managers from adequately describing or predicting the environmental effects of prescribed burning on bird communities and their habitats. This presents significant scientific, legal, and social ramifications for land management agencies attempting to implement national fire management programs, such as the National Fire Plan and the Cohesive Strategies. For example, appeals over black-backed and Lewis's woodpeckers, two species of ponderosa pine forests, halted the implementation of the land management plan on the Black Hills National Forest. Thus, planning and implementation of fire management programs require an improved understanding of the cumulative effects of fire management on sensitive wildlife species. Our overall goal is to quantify and compare the ecological consequences of fire management for birds and their habitats in three fire conditions: (1) unburned forests (fires absent for at least 70 yrs), (2) prescribed understory fire, and (3) wildland fire, Using planned and "natural" experiments, we will characterize forest structure, fuel loads, landscape heterogeneity, and avian communities of the three fire conditions in ponderosa pine/mixed coniferous forests at three study locations (Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico/Arizona) across the Intermountain West. The proposed research directly addresses Task 3, RFP 200 1-1 (~determine cumulative effects of fuels reduction methods on wildlife populations, habitat structure, and landscapes). The results of this study will provide information necessary for managers to: 1) evaluate the ecological trade-offs among wildlife resources associated with alternative fire management activities, 2) identify potential conflicts in management for Sensitive Species of cavity-nesting birds, and 3) assess how the cumulative effects of fire management can affect the ecological integrity of ponderosa pine forests. To facilitate dissemination of information to managers and the public, we will produce a "Birds in Burns" color leaflet and companion poster that describe bird species associated with different fire conditions in ponderosa pine forests over a large geographic area, in addition to more traditional presentations, reports and peer-reviewed publications.

Principal Investigator: Victoria A. Saab

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Craig Beinz

The Nature Conservancy

OR-Klamath Basin Office

Co-Principal Investigator

William M. Block

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Co-Principal Investigator

Natasha Kotliar

USGS-Geological Survey

FORT-Fort Collins Science Center

Co-Principal Investigator

John F. Lehmkuhl

Forest Service

PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Wenatchee

Co-Principal Investigator

Amy Markus

Forest Service

Fremont-Winema NFs-Silver Lake Ranger District

Co-Principal Investigator

Kerri T. Vierling

University of Idaho

Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Kent Z Woodruff

Forest Service

Okanogan & Wenatchee NFs-Methow Valley Ranger District

Collaborator/Contributor

Denny Bohon

Forest Service

Pike & San Isabel NFs-South Platte Ranger District

Collaborator/Contributor

Paul Boucher

Forest Service

Gila National Forest

Collaborator/Contributor

Gary Brundige

South Dakota

Custer State Park

Collaborator/Contributor

James Cothrun

Forest Service

Apache Sitgreaves NF-Lakeside Ranger District

Collaborator/Contributor

Dyce Gayton

Forest Service

Arapaho & Roosevelt NFs-Canyon Lakes Ranger District

Collaborator/Contributor

Roy Hall

Forest Service

Coconino National Forest

Collaborator/Contributor

Jeff Hardesty

The Nature Conservancy

FL-Global Fire Initiative

Collaborator/Contributor

Charles E. Harris

Idaho

Fish & Game-Headquarters

Collaborator/Contributor

Richard L. Hutto

University of Montana

Division of Biological Sciences

Collaborator/Contributor

William Mannan

University of Arizona-Tucson

School of Natural Resources & the Environment

Collaborator/Contributor

Cal McCluskey

BLM-Bureau of Land Management

Washington Office

Collaborator/Contributor

Barry Noon

Colorado State University

Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Collaborator/Contributor

David S. Pilliod

USGS-Geological Survey

BRD-Snake River Field Station

Collaborator/Contributor

Robert Post

Forest Service

Pike & San Isabel NFs-South Park Ranger District

Collaborator/Contributor

Terrell Rich

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Division of Migratory Bird Management

Collaborator/Contributor

Dan Roddy

NPS-National Park Service

Wind Cave National Park

Collaborator/Contributor

Gary Vos

Forest Service

San Juan NF-Pagosa Ranger District

Federal Cooperator

Victoria A. Saab

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Technical Contact

Sam Hescock

Forest Service

Payette National Forest

Technical Contact

David A. Thomas

Forest Service

RMRS-Human Factors & Risk Management RD&A


Project Locations

Consortium

Northern Rockies

Northwest

South

Southern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

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
    60 Ph.D. Dissertation Multi-Scale Response of Avian Communities to Prescribed Fire: Implications for Fuels Management and Restoration Treatments in Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests (B.G. Dickson)
view or print   1071 Government Publication Response of Birds to Fire in the American Southwest
view or print   2990 Journal Article Studies in Avian Biology
view or print   311 MS Thesis Associations Among Breeding Birds and Characteristics of Gambel Oak in Ponderosa Pine Forests (S.A. Jentsch)
    1390 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Understanding Fire Effects on Wildlife: Where do we go From Here?
    1391 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Effects on Ponderosa Pine Birds in the American Southwest: Are They Going up in Smoke?
    1392 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Modeling the Effects of Prescribed Fire Treatments as a Forest Restoration Alternative: A Landscape-Level Approach
    1393 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Modeling Multi-Scale Patterns of Avian Species Occurrence: Implications for Fuels Management and Restoration Treatments in the Southwest
    1394 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Modeling the Influence of Forest Structure and Composition on Avian Communities in Northern Arizona Ponderosa Pine Forests
    1395 Conference/Symposia/Workshop A Cavity Viewer for Small Budgets: A Cheaper Peeper?
    1396 Poster Role of Prescribed Fire in Maintaining Breeding Bird Diversity in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Western United States
    1397 Invited Paper/Presentation How Processes Influence Pattern: Fire and Avian Communities in North America
    1398 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Nest Survival of Two Woodpecker Species in Ponderosa Pine Forests: Does Survival Vary With Location?
    1399 Training Session Process Influencing Patterns: Examples from Fire and Avian Ecology
    1400 Training Session Process Influencing Patterns: Examples from Fire and Avian Ecology
    5748 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fire Effects on Ponderosa Pine Birds in the American Southwest: Are They Going up in Smoke?
    5641 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Prescribed Fire Effects on Bird Densities and Nest Survival in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Interior West
    6937 Invited Paper/Presentation Effects of Fire on Birds in Southwestern Ecosystems
    6938 Invited Paper/Presentation Peristence of Nest Cavities in Burned Forests

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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