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Integrated analysis for management of fire and fuels, terrestrial and aquatic - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Author(s): Charles H. Luce, Bruce E. Rieman, Paul F. Hessburg, Anne E. Black, Matthew R. Dare
Year Published: 2009

The potential for fire to negatively impact habitat that supports a threatened or endangered species, either directly or indirectly through phenomena such as debris flows, presents resource managers with a tough choice: treat fuels to reduce the risk of fire but potentially degrade stream habitat or do not treat fuels knowing an uncharacteristic fire could jeopardize fish populations. The purpose of this study was to develop a decision support framework to assist managers in resolving this conundrum. We developed a population persistence model for stream fishes that uses existing GIS data and tools to resolve where and how human impacts and fire-related disturbance may affect stream fish. Using overlaid spatial data we are able to identify places where fire is most likely to produce net ecosystem benefits and areas where existing conditions suggest the need for restoration. The persistence model, that we call Integrating Forests, Fish, and Fire or IF3, can be used to evaluate how fire, as well as pre-fire management, is likely to impact stream habitat and resident fish populations. By melding the results of GIS analysis and persistence modeling we are able to identify areas where pre-fire management actions are likely to benefit fish populations by increasing their resilience to future fire activity. Using persistence as a 'currency' of the value of proactive management for ecological resources prioritization provides a defensible means for identifying and prioritizing prefire habitat management over large areas. The tools we developed may be used independently or integrated into existing decision-support frameworks, such as the Fire Effects Planning Framework (FEPF; JFSP Project # 99-1-3-16).

Citation: Luce, Charles H.; Rieman, Bruce; Hessburg, Paul F.; Miller, Carol; Black, Anne E.; Dare, Matthew R. 2009. Integrated analysis for management of fire and fuels, terrestrial and aquatic. Joint Fire Science Project No. 05-4-3-15. Boise, ID: US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 16 p.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Aquatic Life, Fire & Wildlife, Fish, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): Riparian woodland/shrubland
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 12111
FRAMES RCS number: 13738
Record updated: Apr 11, 2018