January 15, 2014

Newsletter #28

New sagebrush strategy,                thinning success & more!

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Resilient Landscapes
Fire Adapted Communities
Safe and Effective Wildfire Response

Order Signed for Comprehensive Sagebrush    and Rangelands Strategy

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order calling for a comprehensive, science-based strategy to protect and restore sagebrush and rangelands in the Great Basin regions of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California. This order demonstrates a strong commitment to work together with federal, state, tribal and local partners to resolve rangeland fire and related issues in sagebrush ecosystems.  Read more here
Source:  AZ Central & The Arizona Republic.  Photo by David Kadlubowski.

Thinning Pays Off in Arizona

Professor Shane Burgess says removing dead wood, dry brush and grasses will save lives, prevent millions of dollars in damages and boost biodiversity by withholding the fuel from wildfires.  He notes 20 years of success by the Natural Resource Working Group whose efforts resulted in the White Mountain Stewardship Project and 70,000 acres of previously dense, degraded forestland that effectively was thinned for healthy diversity and mitigation of high intensity wildfires.  

Collaboration that relies on sound science and leads to meaningful changes on the landscape and prepares communities is at the core of the Cohesive Strategy.  Read more here.
WA State Rep. Cary Condotta and Okanogan County Commissioner Jim DeTro meet with stakeholders about fire preparedness. Source: Methow Valley News. Photo by Marcy Stamper.   

Preparing for Next Fire Season

Despite the continuing tension about the devastation caused by the Carlton Complex Fire in North Central Washington last summer, stakeholders met there on January 5th to discuss how to be better prepared for next fire season. 

Bipartisan Washington State Representatives met with leaders from Washington Dept. of Natural Resources, state Emergency Management, and County Commissioners and a crowd of almost 200 concerned stakeholders. Read more here.

While these meetings can be difficult and filled with emotion, these "after action reviews" help agencies and citizens learn from their experiences to better prepare for the future, together.  
Source: Juneau Empire.  Photo: Alaska Division of Forestry.

U of Alaska Sponsors New Hand Crews

This spring, University of Alaska at Fairbanks is offering the first nationally qualified wildland fire hand crew sponsored by a university.  UAF will also prepare students for firefighting in rural villages, improving the response in outlying areas. 

A trifecta for the Cohesive Strategy, UAF is increasing the response capacity in rural areas, providing quality firefighting education and utilizing technology to advance these efforts.
 Read the press release here.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

January 21, 2015 - Training Exchanges from the Ground Up by Great Plains Fire Science Exchange. Noon MST. More about Training Exchanges can be found here.

January 21, 2015 - The Ability of Wildfire to Act as a Fuel Treatment webinar by Northern Rockies Fire Science Network and the Southwest Fire Science Consortium. Noon MST.  

January 23, 2015 - A New Way to Work Together...The Good Neighbor Authority webinar. 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM EST.  Information on the recently reauthorized Good Neighbor Authority which expands opportunities for restoration across state-federal boundaries.

March 10-12, 2015 - Preparing for Wildfires. Tucson, AZ. A workshop for Cooperative Extension Educators and Community Leaders.  


March 24-26, 2015 - IAFC's Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Conference in Reno, NV. Hands-on training and interactive sessions. Pre-conference training also available March 20-24.

April 20-24, 2015 - 13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference in Boise, ID.   
Articles and information from around the West that demonstrate collaborative efforts of meaningful progress towards Resilient Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities and Safe & Effective Wildfire Response.

Contact:  Kate Lighthall, WRSC Coordinator:

Copyright © 2015 Western Regional Strategy Committee.  All rights reserved.   

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