Fire and Fire Surrogate Treatments for Ecological Restoration

The US Department of Interior and the US Department of Agriculture Joint Fire Science Program provided funding for a long-term study to understand the effects of alternative methods for fuel reduction and forest restoration. This Fire and Fire Surrogate Study is a large-scale, collaborative effort, with the Stephens Lab leading the effort at the Blodgett Forest Research Station in the central Sierra Nevada. For years, managers have recognized increased fire hazards in US forests have acted to reduce stem density and fuels by thinning, burning, and/or other vegetation treatments. Presently there is very little information on the ecological effects of these treatments, and this is the focus of the project.
This is a national study with 12 sites in 10 states (Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida), and it has: 1) produced the best available information available on the ecological and economic effects of alternative fuel reduction methods; 2) feveloped national research site infrastructure that has already provided abundant opportunity for collaborative work; and 3) educated over two dozen fire ecologists and managers. Research papers have been used in hundreds of land management plans and have also been cited in the scientific literature a great deal (about 100 journal papers have produced from project). Read more about the project here.