May 29, 2015

Newsletter #32


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Resilient Landscapes
Fire Adapted Communities
Safe and Effective Wildfire Response
In this issue:

Western Region Engages
Senior Regional Leadership 

Key regional leaders from around the West met on May 12th to discuss their roles in modeling behaviors and attitudes that integrate the collaborative and inclusive philosophy of the Cohesive Strategy to advance the three goals. Engaging these leaders across multiple disciplines is critical to the west-wide implementation of the Cohesive Strategy.  

Nora Rasure, Regional Forester for the US Forest Service Intermountain Region, summed up her ongoing role as a leader in the West:
1. Operate in a regional, west-wide scale with a diverse set of interests, including new partners at the table;

2. Operate within her own networks to further engage with peers for connections, to connect the dots with everyone, and advocate models with peers; and

3. Operate within in her own regional forester network - acting and thinking about how the Cohesive Strategy plays out in those areas. Expand the thinking to include the value of the assets and relationships moving forward. Think bigger and show intentional leadership, engage dialogue, and engage partners.
We are looking forward to working with these leaders as we continue on the path of all hands, all lands implementation!  Read more
Sagebrush fire in Northern Great Basin. Source:

Final DOI Rangeland Strategy Announced

The final Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy aims at reducing the severity of wildfire and keeping rangelands alive and flourishing. The plan focuses on four key areas: 
  1. Lives, and firefighter safety;
  2. Reducing the size, severity and cost of rangeland fires;
  3. Combating invasive weed species; and
  4. Positioning resources where firefighters can access them more efficiently. 
Collaboration and partnership between private landowners, ranchers and federal, state, tribal and local agencies will be the key.  Read full story and Rangeland Strategy here
Front Range Roundtable

Making a Difference on Colorado's Front Range

In El Paso County, Colorado, agencies, organizations, and individuals come together as the Front Range Roundtable to discuss forest health related issues and provide information and make recommendations that ultimately improve forest health on public lands.  This is an exemplary demonstration of Cohesive Strategy at work. Click on the short video above for more.

FireFree a HUGE PILE of Success

In just one example of hundreds of efforts throughout Wildfire Preparedness Month of residents taking responsibility for preparing their own properties for wildfire, Central Oregon's FireFree program boasts a record collection of defensible space debris...and some smile-inducing photos of residents who used nontraditional methods of transportation to recycle their debris.  See the story here.
Marty Stomberg, explains a recent thinning project to forested lands on her property.
Photo: Perry Backus.  Source: Ravalli Republic.

Cost Share Partnerships Working
Towards Resilient Landscapes

Private forestland owners in Montana are taking advantage of 50/50 cost share programs offered through the Bitter Root Resource Conservation and Development group. Programs like these are available to most private landowners seeking to mitigate the risk of wildfire and insect infestation. This work combines well with fuels reduction efforts on national forestlands and inside WUI boundaries by private landowners to restore resilient forestlands towards a larger landscape-scale risk reduction. Read more here.

Reduce Wildfire Risks or
We'll Continue to Pay

"The true costs of wildfires are more than we're counting" says the International Association of Wildland Fire, The Association for Fire Ecology and The Nature Conservancy in a statement paper that outlines an analysis of the costs associated with wildfire, the consequences of not taking action and offers thoughtful and impactful actions for consideration to reduce wildfire risks.   

The Cohesive Strategy is noted as a philosophical approach that can make real progress towards resilient landscapes, fire adapted communities and a safe, integrated wildfire response.  Read more here.    


Quadrennial Fire Review Released 

Conducted every four years, the QFR evaluates current wildland fire management strategies and capabilities against the best estimates of the future environment. While the Cohesive Strategy assesses the situation we have right now and drives new and improved approaches to fire management and community challenges across the country, the QFR will look at the whole of the Cohesive Strategy effort, in the context of future environments and either validate or modify the Cohesive Strategy.  The QFR sets the framework for evaluating the Cohesive Strategy over the next 20 years. Read more here

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

June 2, 2015 - Large Incident Risk Assessments: The roles of the Agency Administrator and the Resource Specialist.  Webinar presented by Stephen Gage, Asst. Dir,. Operations for Fire and Aviation Management, USFS and Kevin Martin, Forest Supervisor, Umatilla National Forest.  10 AM - 11 AM Pacific
September 24-26, 2015 - Colorado Wildland Fire Conference: Creating Fire Adapted Communities at Snowmass Village, CO.  
November 16-20, 2015 - 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in San Antonio, TX.   

Articles and information from around the West that demonstrate collaborative efforts and 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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