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Integrating fuel treatment into ecosystem management: a proposed project planning process

Author(s): Keith Stockmann, Kevin D. Hyde, J. Greg Jones, Dan R. Loeffler, Robin P. Silverstein
Year Published: 2010

Concern over increased wildland fire threats on public lands throughout the western United States makes fuel reduction activities the primary driver of many management projects. This single-issue focus recalls a management planning process practiced frequently in recent decades - a least-harm approach where the primary objective is first addressed and then plans are modified to mitigate adverse effects to other resources. In contrast, we propose a multiple-criteria process for planning fuel-treatment projects in the context of ecosystem management. This approach is consistent with policies that require land management activities be designed to meet multiple-use and environmental objectives, while addressing administrative and budget constraints, and reconciling performance measures from multiple policy directives. We present the process borrowing from the Trapper Bunkhouse Land Stewardship Project example to show the logic for conducting an integrated assessment of ecological and natural resource issues related to multiple management scenarios. The effects and trade-offs of the no-action scenario and proposed action alternatives are evaluated relative to silviculture, disturbance processes (including fire behavior), wildlife habitat, noxious weeds, water quality, recreation and aesthetics, and economic contributions. Advantages and challenges of this project planning approach are also discussed.

Citation: Stockmann, Keith D.; Hyde, Kevin D.; Jones, J. Greg; Loeffler, Dan R.; Silverstein, Robin P. 2010. Integrating fuel treatment into ecosystem management: a proposed project planning process. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 19(6): 725-736.
Topic(s): Fire Policy & Law, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Mechanical treatments, Management Approaches, National Environmental Policy and Review Act (EPA), Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article, Management or Planning Document
NRFSN number: 8206
FRAMES RCS number: 8762
Record updated: Jul 5, 2018