Kenneth E. Skog, R. James Barbour
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fuel Treatments & Effects
Mechanical treatments

NRFSN number: 10995
FRAMES RCS number: 2766
Record updated: June 27, 2018

This paper identifies timberland areas in 12 western states where thinning treatments (1) are judged to be needed to reduce fire hazard and (2) may 'pay for themselves' at a scale to make investment in forest product processing a realistic option. A web-based tool - Fuel Treatment Evaluator 3.0 - is used to select high-fire-hazard timberland plots from the Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) database and provide results of simulated thinning treatments. Areas were identified where either torching or crowning is likely during wildfires when wind speeds are below 25 mph. After additional screens are applied, 24 million acres are deemed eligible for treatment (14 million acres on federal lands). Uneven-aged and even-aged silvicultural treatments analyzed would treat 7.2 to 18.0 million of the 24 million acres, including 0.8 to 1.2 million acres of wildland-urban interface area, and provide 169 to 640 million ovendry tons of woody biomass. About 55 percent of biomass would be from main stem of trees ≥7 inches d.b.h. Sixty to seventy percent of the area to be treated is in California, Idaho, and Montana. Volumes and harvest costs from two treatments on the 14 million acres of eligible federal lands are used as inputs to the fuel treatment market model for U.S. West (FTM-West) discussed in these proceedings.


Skog, Kenneth E.; Barbour, R. James. 2006. Estimating woody biomass supply from thinning treatments to reduce fire hazard in the US West. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. Fuels management - How to measure success, conference proceedings; 2006 March 28-30; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 657-671.

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