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The West Thinks Locally for Wildfire Preparedness
The West knows that the time to protect a community from wildfire is before the fire starts! Fire adapted communities are proactive and maintain a state of reduced fuels around homes and the whole community before the fire season. Action 2.5 of the Western Regional Action Plan says: “Facilitate shared learning among communities”.  In this Wildfire X article, Lynn Jungwirth explains the West's vision for protecting communities with a local workforce. “In the West we have identified 6,200 communities at risk. If each community had a 20-man crew that was a conservation crew/fuels crew/fire crew, you’ve got 120,000 more firefighters that you don’t have to pay for every single day.” Local involvement is the key to fire readiness!  Read the article >
Kate's Corner

Thank you for joining us for the 2nd edition of the WRSC's eNews!

On Friday, I talked to a large group of county commissioners and local representatives at the Annual NACo Conference. I asked who had experience with wildland fire in their communities. Nearly every hand shot up! What ensued was a lively, interactive conversation about the Cohesive Strategy and support for its implementation. As the meeting closed, there were many side conversations that I knew would continue. “This is how it starts….” I thought to myself.  I encourage all of you, at all levels of your networks, to keep the conversations going…


Tribes Partner to Reduce Fuels and Increase Biomass Utilization
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) actively manage their lands for sustainability, and are concerned about the loss of local lumber mills and biomass utilization sites in western Montana. They recently entered into a collaborative project with NARA and a consortium of universities and colleges. The project will establish local biomass utilization capabilities to support tribal natural resource activities and forest restoration goals on tribal, federal and private forestlands. This is a great example of Action 1.1.c: “Implement projects using the best available and most feasible tools”. Read the article > 
Fire Response News 
The WRSC reports progress on Action 3.3b: “continue to implement a national Wildland fire qualifications system”. NWCG is implementing a training initiative to leverage EMI FEMA training for certain ICS courses having common objectives with existing NWCG courses. The transition of 12 courses will begin this Fall with implementation slated for Fall 2014.
Action on 3.4.b: “increase local response capacity including supporting the development of Type 3 IMTs”. The U.S. Fire Administration is mobilizing Type 3 IMTs to respond to wildfires in the West through its Type 3 IMT Development Program. The intent is to facilitate Type 3 IMT’s shadow assignments with Type 1 and Type 2 Wildland IMT’s in order to gain further experience and enhance response capabilities.
Defensible Space Regulations Make a Difference

A study by the University of Colorado–Denver finds three levels of defensible space regulations in the West. Strong regulations in California and Oregon; moderate in Utah and Nevada; and soft regulations in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, where there are no statewide standards. Most wildfire related deaths are in the states with soft regulations. In this article, Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado discusses regulations. Action 2.2.5 of the Action Plan says: “Develop and disseminate best practices and sample wildfire zoning ordinances” Read the article >
Governors Support the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTMA)
The Western Governors are taking action on a barrier identified in the Western Regional Action Plan, Action 0.6.5, to “simplify the land exchange process between states and the federal government”. At the June Western Governors’ Association Annual Meeting, the Governors adopted Policy Resolution 13-01 Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases. The policy will improve management of both federal and state lands in areas where there is checkerboard ownership, or where state lands are completely captive within a federal management area. Using exchanges, federal agencies and the states can consolidate their land holdings to improve land management. Read the article >
We had a tremendous response to our 1st newsletter. We sent it to 742 people, and it was opened 1,200 times! If you haven’t already, please subscribe. It's quick and easy! Please share this issue with your friends!

We would like to invite feedback, comments, and suggestions for articles to feature in future editions. Correspondence can be sent to Katie Lighthall.
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
Copyright © 2013 Western Regional Strategy Committee, All rights reserved.

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