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A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Wilderness Fire Management: Easier Now or Later?

BobMarshallFire_small.jpgThis workshop and field tour will bring together managers and scientists to share knowledge about topics important to wilderness fire management. These include future challenges related to changing climate and fire seasons; vegetation, soil, and water response to fire; resilience; risk management; and engaging with the public. The Northern Rockies Fire Science Network is partnering with the Rocky Mountain Ranger District, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest to host this event.


Background - Although the practice of fire suppression has excluded wildland fire from many western forests, some wilderness areas have more closely maintained their historic fire regimes. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex is an example of an area where lightning-caused fires are often managed for their beneficial effects. These areas provide a tremendous opportunity for understanding the complexity of wildland fire as an ecosystem process, and for appreciating the social factors that influence the management of wilderness fire.

Logistics - On Tuesday, July 9, participants will meet at the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau, Montana for an all-day workshop featuring talks from scientists who have conducted research relevant to wilderness fire and from managers who oversee wilderness fire management. Tuesday evening will be a catered dinner at the Stage Stop Inn that will cost $20 per person. 

For those participating in the workshop, the field tour takes place July 10-11. The group will meet in Augusta on the morning of July 10th. A boat will take participants across the Gibson Reservoir to the campsite, where there will be presentations and discussions in the afternoon. Participants will need to bring their own camping gear, and a camp chair would be nice to have.

Bag lunches are available to order for July 10-11 on the registration page. Dinner will be provided July 10. On July 11, breakfast is provided, and participants hike 2 miles with a 900' elevation gain to Sun Butte, where there will be a presentation and views of the landscape mosaic of vegetation patterns created by past fires. That afternoon participants hike back to the campsite and have a boat shuttle returning to Augusta by 5 PM.

Lodging - For July 9, a block of rooms is being held at the Stage Stop Inn (406-466-5900) in Choteau under the group name "Wilderness Workshop". Please make your reservation by July 1, as rooms will be released by close of business that day. For July 10, be prepared to camp. 

Download the Agenda here.

Register for the workshop and field tour - Deadline July 5

Registration is limited: Please register by July 5 so organizers can order lunches and plan the breakfast and dinner provided on July 10-11. 

Limited funds are available for travel grants, for those needing travel support.  Apply using this webform.