Monitoring Impacts in Protected Areas and Wilderness
Monitoring Impacts in Protected Areas and Wilderness CSS 496
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Date Created: 10/23/15
FiIe Policy amp Management in Wilderness 1 Special thanks to Colleen Fm amp Shawn Schmidt for R 90 Outline Evolution ofFire History and Policy A Closer Look at an Individual Fire Plan Long before humans arrived in Nonh America there was re It came with the rst lightening strike and will remain forever Fire in Wilderness Fire is anatural force that has helped shape the character ofmuch ofthe American Wildemess Many ecosystems ofthe primeval American Wildemess were re dependent Historical Context During the preindustrial period 1500 1800 145million acres burned annually from Wild res Today only 14million acres burn annually from Wild res 50 ofthis decrease is due to land management actions A wild re is any re that is not a prescribed re There are three general methods to respond to a re predetermined plan Historical Perceptions Disturbances such as re amp insects Were viewed as undesirable pieventing forests from attaining on maintaining tlieii natural climax state Pinchot began the campaign which ieganlecl re as an evil to be stopped tlnongli ngoions control Elimination ornie became a primary goal of wildemess amp park management Early Roots 39 Wildland Fire Control Program initiated in the Adirondacks Reserve NY 1885 39 Natural re intervals in 1D ceased 1889 39 Forest Reserve Use Book 1905 39 First Mission ofthe FS 1906 Rocky Mountain Fires of 1910 Fire ControlSuppression 1 39 FS Chief Graves states forestry is 90 re prevention 39 Weeks Bill 1911 39 National Park Service Organic Act 1916 Fire ControlSuppression 1 39 Stop the res 1923 39 Clark McNany Act 1924 39 10acre control objective 1924 39 FS re suppression policy 1926 39 In spite of legislation early re ghting efforts were under unded disorganized amp ineffective Age of Innovation Manpower ofthe CCC program 10AM Fire Policy 1935 Smokey Bear campaign 1945 Formation of re ghting organizations 1950 s First aerial re suppression 1956 E ective technology labor organization equipment were seen as the solution Fire In anagem ent The deliberate response to amp use of re through the execution oftechnically sound plans under speci c prescriptions for the purpose of achieving stated Wilderness management objectives Wilderness re management implies vegetation management Fire Management Leopold Report 1963 Wilderness Act 1964 Agency policy changes 196768 10Acre PreSuppression Policy 1972 Wilderness Act 1964 Calls for both Wild untrammeled amp natural conditions Using prescribed re may make the system more natural but at the cost ofbeing less wild Fire Whether natural or prescribed is the preferred alternative to either continued suppression or mechanical manipulation 1 Federal agencies generally practiced a policy oftotal re control at the time the Wilderness Act 1964 was enacted Fire policy gradually changed to a policy of re management Mature amp Responsive Programs NPS Natural re program at Sequoia amp Kings Canyon National Parks 1968 First F S wilderness re management plan for the SelwayBitterroot Wilderness 1972 National Wild re Coordinating Group 1976 Agency policy changes 197785 Yellowstone Fire l 988 Had we not interfered with the natural process by suppressing re in the rst place this situation might not have occurred Response to the Yellowstone res Focus on Prevention amp Sustainability 1 Fire review 1989 BLM Wildemess Management Plan 1990 Challenge of Restoring Fire to the Ecosystem Only 88 of the 596 designated wilderness areas excluding AK had approved re plans that allow natural ignitions to burn Even areas with active re programs continue to suppress many wild res None of the four federal agencies had been able to restore re to a level near its natural regime Current re management policies of Federal land management agencies generally recognize re as a natural process in many ecosystems especially in the West NPS Direction I NPS is committed to protecting park resources and natural ecological processes but firefighter and public safety is the first priority in fire management activities NPS Fire Mgmt Programs I Until a fire management plan is approved wildfires will aggressively be suppressed I Once approved natural wildfires can be used to accomplish management goals BIA Approach I Wilderness re plans allow Wild re to play a natural role in ecological processes unless human life or property are threatened I Pioneered use of prescribed re in Wilderness I No national policy concerning re management in Wilderness areas I Fire management policies are reservation or agency speci c I Flathead Reservation Wilderness BLM amp FWS History I Oumide of AK the BLM amp the FWS have yet to implement an operational natural fire program in wilderness I 508 out of 596 designated wilderness areas were still in suppression mode as of the 1998 fire season BLM Strategy I Primary emphasis has been to prevent impairment of wilderness values rather than to develop amp implement fire management plans 1988 I Fire management options vary from full suppression to using fire to achieve management objectives FWS Action I Committed to a strong fire management policy I Wildfire is suppressed aggressively I Prescribed fire is used to manage habitat amp resources to achieve objectives in established refuge plans F5 General Trend I A requirement ofwildemess management is to preserve natural conditions FS Wilderness Fire Plans Fourpart plan Includes related plans and supporting documents Fire management objectives Map ofthe re management area Proposed amp planned actions FS Fire Mgmt Objectives Allow re to achieve its natural goal Use re to accomplish desired resource management objectives Protect life property amp resources from unwanted re Avoid unacceptable effect of re amp re suppression 2000 Fire Season Highlight 1 We can postpone the inevitable blazes but as the 2000 re season showednot inde nitely Fire as anatural process will never be eliminated from the landscape 1 A Review amp Update ofthe 1995 Federal Wildland Fire ManagementPolicy Participants Us Depts Defense Co Environmental Protection Agency Federal Emergency ManagementAgency National Association ofState Foresters ofthe Interior Agriculture Energy rnrneree Key Themes 1 Key Themes Ecosystem Stability Fire Planning Fire Operations Interagency Coordination amp Cooperation Program Management amp Oversight Overv1ew of 2000 Fire Season The 2000 re season started early with the 15 re occurring in Florida on Jan 1 A number ofclimatic conditions combinedto create an unprecedented re season Intense re behavior never before experienced by Veteran re ghters Fires were still smoldering in the i FC RON39R in Deeemb r ason Wildfire Stats Wilderness Fires F ROM 556129 em mdhmacrextmmzd in suppresam my 2846Z re ghtersdeplwyed SelwayEitlerravt 59250 auras 1296500 rexhumzd5639I7 aspelellixnp 300 auras nrzosmasns burned 0 m7 FCRONR 2000 Fire Stats Speci c Wilderness Fire Management Plans 0 Frank ChurchRiver of No Return Wilderness SelwayBitterroot and GospelHump Wilderness Areas Salmon River Unit Salmon River Breaks Zone 0 235000 acres 10 of FCRONR 0 From 1960 to 1983 only acres burned annually Historic levels are estimated at 12 256 acres annually 0 Fires suppressed to 28 of historic levels 11911 acres left unburned per year 0 285864 acres suppressed over 24 years Objectives cont natuml ecosystems Wit Coordinating With the SelWayBitterroots and Gospel Hump Wilderness Fire Plans Develop aprogram for prescribed re for planned and unplanned natuml ignitions to achieve Wilderness objectives Direction regarding appropriate suppression responses control containment or con nement including any constmints on techniques methods tools and equipment The use of re as a means of restoring and perpetuating e 39 derness Frank ChurchRiver of No Return Wilderness 0 Size 2366698 acres 2 01 largest in lower 48 6h largest including Alaska 0 Natural re regimes have been interrupted since the 1930 s 0 In certain areas re has been suppressed 27 to 45 times that of historic intervals ie 619 yrs present compared to 138 yrs historic since previous fire event FCRONR Wilderness Fire Management Plan Objectives from FSM 2324 0 Permit lightning caused fires to play as nearly as possible their natural ecological role within wilderness Reduce to an acceptable level the risks and consequences of wildfire within wilderness or escaping from wilderness Objectives cont 1 Maintain cost effective prescribed re and re suppression programs within the wilderness Provide a smoke of residual smoke on air quality Public Involvement I A public comment period was held to allow people to voice their opinions for their preferred fire management alternative I Four alternatives were given Economic Considerations I A combination of naturally ignited and agency ignited res is the the most cost e icient strategy I Full Suppression Strategy 421acre I Control contain and con ne suppression responses and EFSA 118acre Unplanned natural res only 52acre I Naturally must monitor and agency When Where and how ignited res 35acre Public Involvement Public Response I Alt A Cautionary approach to naturally ignited prescribe re 238 I Alt B Full suppression 0 I Alt C Program for both planned and unplanned prescribed re 365 I Alt D Zealous approach to Alt C which allows human ignited nonagency to be considered a natural re 349 Pos1t1ve and Negative Effects of Implementation I Positive Fire will play amore natural role 1 vegetative diversity and nutrient recycling I L fuel accumulation and re expenditures I Negative 1 complexity ofrriariagerrierit decisions Damage to private property Loss ofstructures private and public 1 smoke causing visibility and health problems I Loss ofrevenue for out tters 2001 FCRONR Wilderness Fire Use Guidebook I The 1990 plan is still sound I Substance of the plan will not drastically change I Energy Release Charts Will be updated I Inclusion of 2001 Federal Wildland Fire Policy Revision will t the format of Selway Bitterroot Wildland Fire Use Qn39debook SBFG SelwayBitterroot Wildland Fire Use Guidebook I guideboo has replaced plan The idea is to avoid the strictness of a plan and replace it with guidelines an recommendations to adhere to fire policy This format is slowly being introduced to many other wilderness areas ie Gospel Hump Wilderness Area SelwayBitterroot Wildland F1re Use Guidebook I The SBFG combined three individual plans I Three staged process I Stage 1 Initial Decision I Stage 2 Shortterm implementation actions I Stage 3 Longterm implementation actions I Stage 4 Periodic Assessment SBFG Objectives Permit lightningcaused res to play as nearly as possible their natural ecological role within wilderness Reduce to an acceptable level the risks and consequences of wild re within wilderness or escaping om wilderness And also formulation nd To integrate consideration of re protection and use into the a land ent objectives prescriptions and practices 39 evaluation of and resource managem SelwayBltterroot Wildland Fire Use Guidebook SBFG 0 Wildland Fire Implementation Plans WFIP to implement Wildland re use and may elegate approval authority to the District Ranger Where appropriate FSM 14042quot 0 The plan follows the development of a nat ignition into a Wildland re for resource bene t WFURB from initial re assessment through shortterm implementation actions and up to long term assessment quot SBFG Objectives cont I To ovide a costeffective level of wild re protection on National Forest System an s commensurate with the threat to based on hazard risk values and management objectives o minimize the sum of a the re program cost plus b the net change in the value of planned resource outputs due to re To protect maintain and enhance the production and quality of national forest resources through re protection and use of prescribed and natural re Future Predictions and Recommendations Increased use of prescribed natural re especially agency ignited prescribe res Increased consideration of allowing human caused res non agency ignited to burn as long as they adhere to the prescription Fire returning as a natural component ofthe wilderness ecosystem I Increase public involvement and education Large res will be allowedto enter wilderness areas from adjacent lands but small res will continued to be suppressed FOR 425 The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone nor even in the present but rather in the future Aldo Leopold 10
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