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Project ID: 06-3-4-15

Year: 2006

Date Started: 07/07/2006

Date Completed: 08/12/2009

Title: Modeling Habitat and Population Responses of At-Risk Woodpecker Species to Post-Fire Salvage Logging

Project Proposal Abstract: Public land managers face significant challenges when attempting to implement national fire policies and concurrently meet the requirements of existing laws to maintain habitats and populations of wildlife species associated with post-fire habitats. Fire creates dense stands of standing dead trees that provide habitat patches for a variety of wildlife, notably cavity-nesting birds. Several species of cavity-nesting woodpeckers are designated as species at risk because they are responsive to fire and timber management activities. In forested regions of the western United States, controversy over post-fire management activities (particularly salvage logging), frequently results in legal conflicts. Litigation over salvage logging often reflects the challenges faced by land mangers when attempting to legally demonstrate that habitat and populations are maintained for management indicator and sensitive species of wildlife. Standardized guidelines for conservation of postfire landscapes are not available. Currently, a wide variety of approaches are used for managing burned forests and they depend on land ownership and discretion of individual managers. Public land agencies need to develop and implement consistent design criteria for post-fire management on federal lands that will maintain habitats and populations of species at risk, notably cavity-nesting birds. Currently, managers cannot reliably evaluate expected responses by fire-associated wildlife across burned forests because we lack models linking wildlife populations to multi-scale forest conditions after post-fire salvage logging treatments. Our proposal seeks to evaluate the effects and effectiveness of post-fire management activities, namely salvage logging, on populations and habitats of at-risk woodpecker species dependent on burned forests (AFP 2006-3 Task 4). This proposal will allow completion of post-treatment salvage logging measurements where data were collected prior to logging at the Toolbox Fire in Oregon and it will provide data for validation of models on woodpecker nest occurrence developed from data collected in Idaho. The objectives of this study are to: (1) Develop regression models to assess the relative influence of post-fire salvage logging on nest survival and productivity (number of fledglings produced) of at-risk woodpecker species using dry forest habitats; (2) Evaluate the predictive ability of woodpecker nest occurrence models developed from data collected in Idaho by using observations in Oregon; (3) Quantify fuels reduction after post-fire salvage logging to assess the effects on wildlife habitat; and (4) Develop guidelines regarding the use of remotely-sensed pre-fire vegetation conditions and post-fire burn severity to predict habitat suitability of burned forests (e.g., patch area and configuration of snag habitats) for woodpeckers. The results of this study will provide the scientific information to quantify effects of post-fire management activities and determine locations within burned forests most likely to provide suitable habitat for fire-associated species. Our ongoing and proposed research provides a unique opportunity to contribute to the establishment of scientifically-based, legally-defensible guidelines for lessening the effects of post-fire management activities on biological resources and concurrently maintain habitat and populations of fire-associated woodpecker species.

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

Kim Mellen

Forest Service

Region 6-Pacific Northwest Region

Co-Principal Investigator

Jay Rotella

Montana State University

Department of Ecology

Federal Cooperator

Alison Hill

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station


Project Locations

Consortium

Northern Rockies

Northwest


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
    1023 Government Publication 2007 JFSP Project Progress Report
view or print go to website 2981 Journal Article The Journal of Wildlife Management
view or print go to website 242 MS Thesis Influence of Postfire Salvage Logging on Black-Backed Woodpecker Nest-Site Selection and Nest Survival (C. Forristal)
    862 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire and Wildlife Management: Salvage Logging, Reducing Fuels, & Creating Wildlife Habitat
    863 Invited Paper/Presentation The "Ecological Trade-Offs" Among Fire Exclusion, Prescribed Fire, and Wildland Fire
    864 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Influence of Time Since Fire & Salvage Logging on Nest Survival of Cavity-Nesting Birds
    1556 Training Session Process Influencing Patterns: Examples from Fire and Avian Ecology-Tucson, AZ
    1557 Invited Paper/Presentation Ecological Consequences of Fire Management for Birds of Dry Coniferous Forests
    1558 Training Session Woodpecker Surveying and Monitoring Vegetation and Fuels Sampling, and Safety Training
    3632 Training Session Fire Process Influencing Patterns in Avian Communities: Fire and Avian Ecology
    3633 Field Demonstration/Tour Birds of Burned Forests-International Migratory Bird Day
    3634 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Ecology of Rocky Mountain Forests
    3635 Training Session Methods for Monitoring the Presence/Absence of Woodpeckers
    3636 Training Session Woodpecker Surveying and Monitoring, Vegetation Sampling, and Safety Training
    2811 Poster Estimating the Detectability of Woodpecker Nests in Burned and Unburned Landscapes
  go to website 3584 Invited Paper/Presentation Ecological Consequences of Fire Management for Birds of Dry Coniferous Forests
    3585 Poster Habitat Suitability Models Derived from Mahalanobis Distance for White-Headed Woodpecker in Post-Fire Landscapes
    4819 Invited Paper/Presentation Burning Question: Are Burned Forests Birding Hot Spots of Diversity?
    5010 Invited Paper/Presentation Ecological Consequences of Fire Suppression for Avian Communities of Dry Coniferous Forests in Western United States
    5011 Invited Paper/Presentation Scientific Exchange on Forestry Practices with Consideration for Wildlife
    4149 Invited Paper/Presentation The "Ecological Trade-Offs" Among Fire Exclusion, Prescribed Fire, and Wildland Fire
    4150 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Influence of Post-Fire Logging on Black-Backed Woodpecker Nest Survival
    4151 Invited Paper/Presentation Demographic Responses of Birds to Wild and Prescribed Fire in Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests
    4152 Invited Paper/Presentation Early Birds do it Better: Importance of Timing for Nest Survival of Lewis’s Woodpecker in Burned and Unburned Habitats
    6646 Poster Estimating the Detectability of Woodpecker Nests in Burned and Unburned Landscapes
    5453 Invited Paper/Presentation Early Birds do it Better: Importance of Timing for Nest Survival of Lewis’s Woodpecker in Burned and Unburned Habitats
    7143 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Influence of Post-Fire Logging on Black-Backed Woodpecker Nest Survival
    7144 Training Session Process Influencing Patterns: Examples from Fire and Avian Ecology-Tucson, AZ
  go to website 7145 Website Birds and Burns Network

Supporting Documents

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Brief


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