Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

24-6-2009 9:00 AM

End Date

24-6-2009 9:20 AM

Description

Many coniferous forests in the western US once supported frequent, low intensity fires, but due to a century of fire exclusion and other factors, severe wildfires have now become common. With the goal of lowering fire intensities and severities, one possible fuel treatment that is currently gaining favor in with many land managers is mastication which breaks, shreds, or grinds canopy (seedlings, saplings and pole trees) and surface fuel (fine and coarse woody material) into smaller sizes and deposits the treated fuel on the ground. However, very little is known concerning the effects of this treatment on the resulting fire behavior, vegetation community, and ecosystem responses. Managers need to be aware of the beneficial and adverse effects of mastication to more effectively manage ecosystems. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of masticated fuels on various ecosystem processes and characteristics with the following objectives • Describe the characteristics and properties of masticated fuelbeds • Develop a sampling protocol to estimate the loading of masticated fuelbed • Describe fire behavior in burning masticated fuelbeds • Evaluate the effects of masticated fuelbed on the ecosystem We have established study sites on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico; San Juan National Forest, Colorado; and Kootenai National Forest, Montana. Each site contains control, masticate, masticate and burn, and burn only units. As of fall 2008, all sites had received the mastication treatment but none had been prescribed burned. We found that a cover-depth sampling protocol was the best option for quantifying masticated fuel loadings and mastication reduced canopy fuels by approximately 30-50 percent.

 
Jun 24th, 9:00 AM Jun 24th, 9:20 AM

An Integrated Study Investigating Masticated Fuel Treatments in the Rocky Mountains

Many coniferous forests in the western US once supported frequent, low intensity fires, but due to a century of fire exclusion and other factors, severe wildfires have now become common. With the goal of lowering fire intensities and severities, one possible fuel treatment that is currently gaining favor in with many land managers is mastication which breaks, shreds, or grinds canopy (seedlings, saplings and pole trees) and surface fuel (fine and coarse woody material) into smaller sizes and deposits the treated fuel on the ground. However, very little is known concerning the effects of this treatment on the resulting fire behavior, vegetation community, and ecosystem responses. Managers need to be aware of the beneficial and adverse effects of mastication to more effectively manage ecosystems. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of masticated fuels on various ecosystem processes and characteristics with the following objectives • Describe the characteristics and properties of masticated fuelbeds • Develop a sampling protocol to estimate the loading of masticated fuelbed • Describe fire behavior in burning masticated fuelbeds • Evaluate the effects of masticated fuelbed on the ecosystem We have established study sites on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico; San Juan National Forest, Colorado; and Kootenai National Forest, Montana. Each site contains control, masticate, masticate and burn, and burn only units. As of fall 2008, all sites had received the mastication treatment but none had been prescribed burned. We found that a cover-depth sampling protocol was the best option for quantifying masticated fuel loadings and mastication reduced canopy fuels by approximately 30-50 percent.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/mastication/1