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Project ID: 03-4-2-16

Year: 2003

Date Started: 07/29/2003

Date Completed: 06/10/2004

Title: Assessing the Risk of Decision Making Related to Uncharacteristic Wildfires: A 2003 Symposium

Project Proposal Abstract: Forest reserves have been established to protect resources such as red-cockaded woodpeckers in the southeastern U.S., northern spotted owls and other vertebrates in the Pacific Northwest, aquatic resources such as salmon and bull trout, and the Canada lynx throughout its range. Although such reserves offer short-term protection, forests with high fuel hazard subject protected resources to the long-term risk of uncharacteristically large and intense wildfires. The relative short-term risks to protected species and waters versus the long-term risks of unmitigated hazards have seldom been quantitatively assessed, and short-term protection for species and water in unmanaged reserves with high-hazard habitat may well result in unintended long-term detrimental effects. For example, virtually all Late-Successional Reserves in the Pacific Northwest are located in areas categorized as having either moderate or high hazard of uncharacteristic wildfires. We will address these elements of risk and resource values by convening a symposium to determine a specific strategy for developing and applying analytical tools that can quantify the relative risks of management action and inaction in high-hazard forests. Planning is well underway for this syffiposium, scheduled for 17-19 November 2003. A steering committee has created a prospectus to develop and apply methods and technologies to assess the short- and long-term ecological effects of various management options for forest ecosystems at risk of large and intense wildfires. By including leaders in the scientific and management communities, the symposium will be able to address decision-making and policy needs relative to hazard-fuel treatment with specific tools, and suggest where new tools and decision support may be necessary. Two journals have already agreed to publish the plenary papers of this symposium, ensuring rapid dissemination of results.

Principal Investigator: David L. Peterson

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Joe Holmberg

Oregon State University

Extension Forestry Program

Co-Principal Investigator

Larry L. Irwin

National Council for Air & Stream Improvement Inc.

West Coast Regional Center

Federal Cooperator

David L. Peterson

Forest Service

PNW-Seattle-Managing Natural Disturbances

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


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
    169 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Symposium on Risk Assessment

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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