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WRSC Newsletter #6 09/30/2013
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Breaking News! SRS Extended!
See Kate's Corner for more info! 

Saving Sequoias and Sugar Pines in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is one of America's great treasures. Within the park are the Tuolumne and Merced groves of giant sequoia, and the Rockefeller grove of giant sugar pine trees. As the Rim Fire moved into the park, it became essential to take action to protect the ancient trees. Read the story of the back burning that was used to save the trees. Read more > 

City of Helena Conducts Fuels Treatments to Protect the City's Water Supply

Streams that flow from forests are the primary source of 60% of the drinking water in this country. The City of Helena and Helena National Forest are working together to protect the public drinking water source, the Tenmile Creek, by reducing fuels in the watershed. Protecting the watershed from catastrophic wildfire protects water quality and quantity, and the essential infrastructure,  for the future. Watch the video >
A Letter from the Chief of the Forest Service

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell recently sent a letter to the wildland fire leadership regarding the National Cohesive Strategy. The letter provides support for the Cohesive Strategy and directs the leadership to work with all partners in the spirit of the Cohesive Strategy. Chief Tidwell says, “It is because of your involvement and your investment of time and energy that we have been successful in developing an inclusive, robust, all-lands National Cohesive Strategy.” This is high praise for the many organization representatives and stakeholders who have worked together over three years to bring the Cohesive Strategy to fruition. Read the entire letter here >

Scenes from the Lodgepole Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho, from fire photographer Kari Greer

Kari Greer is a freelance photographer who contracts with the Forest Service and BLM for wildland fire photography services. She has 19 years experience in fire. Kari says, "I did time as a firefighter in college. I was in school for Photography and Film Production, and became unalterably hooked. It was a natural transition to become a fire photographer. It is truly a combination of passions. I am really lucky!" We're lucky too, that Kari shares her photos with us.

Below are some of her photos from the Lodgepole fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The Lodgepole fire was started by lightning on July 20, 2013 burning over 22,000 acres of lodgepole timber, with a large component of dead standing trees and sagebrush.
Extreme fire behavior
Ground operations
Horseshoe Lake, Alaska is Ready for Wildfire

In 2006, Horseshoe Lake became the first Firewise Communities/USA community in Alaska. The last major fire in the area was the Miller's Reach Fire which destroyed 344 homes and burned 36,000 acres. It's in an area of beautiful lakes and wide open spaces, and has been a recreational area near Anchorage that has seen quite a bit of growth in recent years. Horseshoe Lake has done several fuels reduction projects to reduce wildfire risk.

This summer a fire broke out in one of the mitigated areas. And a videography crew just happened to be on hand! Watch the video of the fire response >
Kate's Corner

This week both houses of Congress voted unanimously to approve the Helium Stewardship Act. (H.R. 527), which will avert a disruption in the sale of American helium reserves - critical to industry. The Act also includes a provision which extends the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) funding for an additional year. Title III under SRS is a major funding source for CWPPs, and CWPPs are a critical component of fire adapted communities! Creating more CWPPs and updating existing CWPPs are actions in the West's Regional Action Plan.

- Kate

Coordinator, Western Regional Strategy Committee
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
October 16&17 Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, Fair Oaks, CA (Free registration for Californians)

October - One day course- multiple dates and locations  Assessing Residential Wildfire Hazards. See link for dates and locations. (Free registration for Californians) 
November 12&13 WRSC Face to Face Meeting, Salt Lake City
November 14-16, Backyards and Beyond, Salt Lake City
Katie Lighthall
Coordinator, Western Region
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Ann Walker
Co-Chair Western Region
Western Governors' Association
Tony Harwood
Co-chair Western Region
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Kent Connaughton
Co-Chair Western Region
US Forest Service

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