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Project ID: 98-1-5-04

Year: 1999

Date Started: 09/27/1999

Date Completed: 08/30/2004

Title: Historic Fire Regimes and Changes Since European Settlement on the Northern Mixed Prairie: Effect on Ecosystem Function and Fire Behavior

Project Proposal Abstract: Wildland fuels have increased during the past half century due to fire management policies and practices. Fire suppression has led to fuel accumulations which contribute to more intense, often catastrophic, fires that are more difficult to control. Costs and risks of fire control have escalated, risks to human life are high, and fire-dependent ecosystems have deteriorated. There is a recognized need to evaluate and compare fuel management practices and methods, including prescribed fire and a "no burn" policy. Needed information includes description or definition of what constitutes a natural fire regime, how fire regimes and behavior have changed since European settlement, and how changes affect ecosystem structure and function. This information is mostly unavailable for the Northern Mixed Prairie. Our study falls under the objectives of Tasks of the first call for proposals issued in 1998. Objectives are to 1) synthesize fire regime, fire behavior and ecosystem response infonnation throughout the Northern Mixed Prairie ecosystem, 2) collect, analyze and summarize field data, 3) complete and publish final reports, and 4) conduct project completion symposium. The approach is to: 1) review and summarize all records of historic fire regimes and fire behavior and changes since European settlement, 2) review and summarize all records related to the effects of a changing fire regime on the ecosystem, and 3) conduct field studies on a wide array of previously burned sites to determine how a changing fire regime affects plant species, species constancy, vegetation similarity, community diversity, vegetation structure, fuel loading and predicted fire behavior. This information will provide a scientific basis for fire management throughout the region.

Principal Investigator: Ronald H. Wakimoto

Agency/Organization: University of Montana

Branch or Dept: Department of Forest Management


Other Project Collaborators

Type

Name

Agency/Organization

Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

E. Earl Willard

University of Montana

Department of Forest Management

Federal Cooperator

Bruce Reid

BLM-Bureau of Land Management

Lewistown Field Office


Project Locations

Consortium

Great Plains


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.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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