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The budgetary, ecological, and managerial impacts of pinyon-juniper and cheatgrass fires

Author(s): Thomas C. Roberts
Year Published: 1999

The 1996 fire season illustrated the potential impacts of wildland fires on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands through numerous western states. During the 1996 fire season, over six million acres burned in the United States through unplanned ignitions (wildfires). Over two million acres burned on BLM administered acreage, with over three hundred thousand of them having Emergency Fire Rehabilitation (EFR) projects implemented on them with project costs of over $21 million, over a three year period. Many of these fires were on lands dominated by pinyon-juniper or cheatgrass vegetation community types. These fires are indicative of fuel loads and fire conditions that lend themselves to unplanned or planned ignition and commensurate ecological implications. Pinyon-juniper and cheatgrass fires, as often happen on BLM managed lands are expensive to rehabilitate, disruptive to the workforce and local land users, and at times contentious in methods used for rehabilitation. This paper will describe the budgetary, ecological, and managerial implications of these wildland fires and their rehabilitation within the BLM, using the 1996 fire season as an example.

Citation: Roberts, Jr., Thomas C. 1999. The budgetary, ecological, and managerial impacts of pinyon-juniper and cheatgrass fires. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Stevens, Richard, comps. Proceedings: ecology and management of pinyon-juniper communities within the Interior West; 1997 September 15-18; Provo, UT. Proceedings RMRS-P-9. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 400-402.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Invasive Species, Fire & Economics, Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order
Ecosystem(s): Juniper woodland
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
NRFSN number: 12108
FRAMES RCS number: 13683
Record updated: May 24, 2018