In the West, 84% of the WUI is yet undeveloped, the housing market has picked up once more, and with climate change as an accelerator, there is an urgent need to find solutions that impact the pattern, scale, and pace of future development in the WUI. It will be difficult to control the rising costs, damages, and dangers related to home development in the WUI unless there are negative financial consequences for private ...more »
"Wild Card" Issues
The key question underlying the 2014 QFR is “what else aren’t we seeing?” The four main QFR focus areas cover items that federal wildland fire managers consider to be of the highest priority, and how the future will look different in each of those four areas. But we also want to capture any other issues worthy of consideration. We invite you to identify any other challenges, risks, or opportunities (and related impacts) that may not fit neatly in any of the four focus areas, and may alter the way that wildland fire managers plan for and respond to wildland fires 10-20 years into the future.
What other issues–beyond the four focus areas of the 2014 QFR–may effect wildland fire management in 10-20 years?
I am really distressed about the disconnect between forest ecology/fire ecology and the status quo of forest and fire management. These two professions work on the same issues yet worlds apart. Forest management must shift to creating more resilient ecosystems rather than waiting until there is a wildfire and sending in the cavalry. Fuels/forest management funding is constantly being cut, but wildfire may soon qualify ...more »
We need to expand community engagement before, during and after fires. No more dropping into somebody's homeland for 14 days, leaving and rarely coming back to visit. The US system of firefighting was never designed to create fire adapted communities and resilient ecosystems. To achieve those, we need to integrate serious, longterm partnerships between firefighting forces and local communities . . . much more than the ...more »
Mixed Sierran Conifer forest has understory shrubs in healthy condition. Jeffrey Pine forest understory is dominated by grasses and annual forbs. Douglas Fir forests have dense understories of shrubs. Many shrubs and all annuals and many perennials are obligate seeders, not crown resprouters, and can be extirpated by frequent ground fires. In short, the relationship of fire to these different healthy forests is different, ...more »
1. The resourcing environment facing government agencies is a complex web of interrelated decisions spanning very diverse time horizons. 2. Government agencies need to find the most effective and efficient mix of resources required to sustain their operations. 3. The complexity of the government budget environment warrants using integrated analytics for determining budgets and weighing resourcing alternatives. 4. ...more »
Let get away from just using and targeting fire and fuels for single species management. Fire and fuels seems to be the last resort when we talk about how we do business on a day to day in the resource world. With this current single species management mandate we seem to be the lead. How many other single species mandates have been successful in our past?
Privatization is resulting in more money going to suppression and less into fuel treatment, fewer women and people of color in fire management, while having none of the vaunted "private sector efficiencies" that were advertised.
Eastern redcedar and Ashe juniper are fire intolerant native invasive species in the central US and Great Plains. Control of these species will alleviate a large host of emerging problems such as fuels management in rangelands and the WUI, water needs, human health (allergy sufferers on the rise), loss of native biodiversity, and more. Finding ways to communicate this to the public effectively is really key. The development ...more »
Calkin etal, 2014 PNAS state: Low-elevation forests are amenable to treatments that supplement the ecological dependency on fire and also mitigate effects and spread of wildfires under extreme conditions. Fires in grasslands, shrub lands and high elevation forests do not offer mitigation opportunities that align easily with ecological requirements. With such vegetation imposed constraints on landscape management, ...more »
The attached essay underscores the importance of fire ecology professionals in an era of tightening budgets. We welcome your feedback in this forum!
The CWPPs are plans that many communities rely upon to assess wildfire risk and vulnerabilities and act upon the information with well-informed strategies. There is some guidance as to how to develop the plans with approval at the State level. Some communities do well with them while others never create one. This lack of consistency with no national level guidance or review as to how to create and maintain the CWPP is ...more »
Instead of using the old orthodoxy, re-frame the problem by focusing the 'susceptibility of structures to the inevitability of wildfire exposure'. Create an organization and funding model that is independent of current wildfire control model to implement this fundamental paradigm shift in how we as a nation address this problem. There are too many negative feedback loops in the current system that continue to perpetuate ...more »