March 18, 2017

Resilient Landscapes
Fire Adapted Communities
Safe & Effective Wildfire Response
A publication by the Western Region to highlight progress within the framework of the
Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy and demonstrations of successful implementation across the West. 


In this issue:


Cohesive Strategy Science and Implementation Workshop REGISTER NOW!!

At the beginning and throughout all stages of planning and development of the National Strategy, science was at the center of both the vision statement and goals. Continued advancement and accomplishment of Cohesive Strategy goals hinge on reinforcing the importance of science in implementation activities and improving mechanisms to facilitate science integration with implementation. Registration includes admission to all workshop sessions and social activities. View program and more information here

Workshop Objectives:

  1. Provide clear understanding of the importance and critical role of science in all Cohesive Strategy planning and implementation. 
  2. Reinforce that the focus of the Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy implementation is "all hands, all lands" and that seamless access to the best available and correct science is vital to success at every level and every action.
  3. Identify examples and opportunities where implementation (current and planned) is informed by the "right" science and information.
  4. Identify processes to ensure science integration in all planning and implementation activities and identify future research needs in support of Cohesive Strategy implementation. 
  5. Utilize the Workshop format to develop recommendations for continuing actions on this subject.
Click here to register now!! 
Jim Lochhead (Denver Water), Clint Evans (NRCS), Mike Lester (Colorado State Forester) and Brian Ferebee (US Forest Service Regional Forester) sign the memorandum of understanding in Denver Feb. 27th, to renew and expand the FORESTS TO FAUCETS PARTNERSHIP. Photo: Ryan Lockwood, Colorado State Forest Service. 

Forests to Faucets Partnership

The Forests to Faucets partnership began in 2010 as a response to devastating wildfires in Colorado. This type of landscape-level, cross boundary collaboration is reducing catastrophic wildfires and restoring forests impacted by reservoirs, erosion and beetle devastation. On February 27th, Forests to Faucets was granted a $33 million extension to continue its ongoing projects. The strategies will be identified in a five-year plan and will include tools such as thinning, prescribed fire, and decommissioning roads to restore and protect 40,000 acres of landscape. Congratulations!  More here

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, January 23, 2017. Photo: WGA

All Hands, All Lands Approach
for Western Governors

Governors from around the West met January 23rd in Bend, OR to discuss Western Governors Association's National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative. Federal public lands account for over 60% of the total forest lands in the West. Western Governors are fostering strong partnerships with the US Forest Service, local and Tribal communities, the forest products industry and conservation interests to take an all hands, all lands approach to supporting healthy communities, robust rural economies and preserving natural resources. More here.  

 Before (top) and after (bottom) Firewise treatment in Payson, Arizona.  Photo: Payson Fire Department.

Arizona Town Redeems its Responsibility

The Town Council in Payson, Arizona is redeeming its responsibility for risk reduction in a move to protect the town from the negative impacts of wildfire. In a virtual 180 degree attitude shift, the Council unanimously voted to move forward with adopting a Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) code, which will impact both new construction and landscaping of existing homes. The Cohesive Strategy promotes a variety of methods to achieve progress towards fire adapted communities. Codes and ordinances can be an effective tool in helping communities become more adapted to wildland fire. More here.
Controlled burn in Oregon. Photo: Jason Houston.

Record Year for Controlled Burns
by The Nature Conservancy

TNC is celebrating a record year for controlled burns helping to restore forests, protect water and safeguard communities. Leading fires on 154,577 acres, TNC surpassed its yearly average of 118,000 acres. The success story is not only in the acres of restoration achieved, but also in the closely coordinated efforts with fire departments, government agencies and neighbors. A great partner in Cohesive Strategy efforts across the West, The Nature Conservancy is proving that more private landowners and the public are receptive to controlled burning as a means to create resilient landscapes and protect communities and firefighters. More here

Click on screenshot above to see video.

Cultural Burning for Everyone's Benefit

For thousands of years, California Indians used fire as a tool for managing natural resources. Fire suppression policies however, have drastically limited cultural burning. As a result, the forest has become incredibly dense and Tribes are now facing a situation in the Sierra Nevada where drought is causing many trees to die. This massive tree mortality has brought the forest to a tipping point, where large scale wildfires threaten to alter the Sierra forests permanently. This video explores how cultural burning is being practiced today and what lessons it holds for the future of the forest. The Cohesive Strategy encourages an integrated approach to land management and local Tribes in California are sharing their traditional ecological knowledge with Cal Fire and the US Forest Service to help restore resilient landscapes through cultural and prescribed burning. The scene is an area just south of Yosemite National park where the North Fork Mono Tribe and the Cold Springs Rancheria Tribes are working to bring fire back to the land for everyone's benefit. More here

Jim Hubbard, US Forest Service, Ret'd. 

Wildfire Evolution Forces New Thinking

Jim Hubbard spent 11 years as Deputy Chief for Fire and Aviation for the US Forest Service. He's no stranger to the challenges facing land and fire management agencies. Speaking recently, Hubbard discussed some of those challenges and the new thinking that is necessary now to address them. 

“We haven’t defined our performance-based outcomes yet,” Hubbard said. That means setting out bigger goals for what risks are worth taking, whose interests are at stake, and what actions are even possible. “We need to know what areas to protect, what places are less important,” Hubbard said. “If everything is wildland-urban interface, you can’t make suppression decisions. You need to hear from the community, the county commissioners, the sheriff. Because we don’t want to use unnecessary exposure (of firefighters) that won’t get the results we’re after.”

Hubbard also referenced “unplanned wildfire management” also known as "managed wildfire for resource benefit." If the conditions are right, district rangers can take advantage of the wildfire by deciding to monitor it, "herd" it around, and let it accomplish resource goals. “If we don’t manage unplanned wildfires, we can’t get ahead of land treatment,” Hubbard said. More here

Alva, Crook County, Wyoming. Photo: Landwatch. 

Wyoming Nets $1.4 Million for Collaborative, Cross-Boundary Projects

The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced their 2017 investment of $1.4 million for two collaborative, cross-boundary projects in northeastern Wyoming. The Northeast Wyoming Forest Resiliency Project was awarded $1,285,540 to improve forest and rangeland health and resiliency, decrease wildfire risk and enhance wildlife habitat and the Northeastern Wyoming Sage-Grouse Habitat Enhancement project will receive $200,000 to help expand conservation efforts with a focus on restoring sage-grouse habitat while maintaining viable agricultural operations. Both projects will build on existing collaborative efforts among landowners, state and federal agencies, academia and other conservation organizations working in northeast Wyoming. These types of public-private partnerships are strongly supported by the Cohesive Strategy because of the increased benefits achieved by working collaboratively across boundaries.  More here

The Colorado-based Wildfire Research group is an interdisciplinary team of experts who use scientific data to make fire-prone communities safer. Photo: WiRē.

Using Science to Help Communities Address Risk

The Colorado-based Wildfire Research (WiRē) group helps to make fire-prone communities safer by applying scientific data to tailor wildfire education and outreach programs to better meet local needs, beliefs and attitudes. By tackling assumptions about what's happening in fire-prone communities, the WiRē group assists by gathering data and providing insights that allow wildfire education and outreach programs to do their work in ways that are informed by science. The Cohesive Strategy is firmly based in sound science and strongly supports implementation efforts to achieve its three goals that are rooted in science. More here.

Goats working in Waikoloa Village. Photo: Chris Wilcox 

Short and Long Term....Goats?


We get a lot of raised eyebrows when we talk about the wildfire problem in Hawaii. The size and frequency of wildfires there have grown significantly in recent decades. The Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO) tailors short- and long-term community-specific wildfire prevention and protection recommendations. To inspire increased long-term thinking, they emphasize three concepts:

  1. Proactive practices are more fruitful than reactive ones;
  2. Incomplete mitigation activities are much less effective than fully implemented ones; and
  3. Collaborative projects that engage all parties are more successful than isolated projects that do not involve stakeholders.
These concepts are already encouraging communities to think outside the box. Read full blog post here


Upcoming Learning Opportunities

March 27, 2017 - A Century of Wildland Fire Research: Contributions to Long-Term Approaches for Wildland Fire Management in Washington DC or by live webcast (7:45 AM - 12:30 PM EDT).
March 29-30, 2017 - 2nd Annual Wildland-Urban Interface and Firewise Summit: Living with Wildfire in Arizona.  Doubletree by Hilton in Flagstaff, AZ.  This 2-day summit will equip the homeowner as well as fire departments and wildland firefighters with information and actions they can take to reduce loss and increase safety in their community. Topics include fire ecology, hazard fuel reduction grants, insurance issues, risk assessments, Fire Adapted Communities, Ready, Set, Go!, Firewise principles, emergency management, forest health, and various programs to help the homeowner and community prepare for wildland fire. 

March 30 - April 1, 2017 - New Mexico Wildland Urban Interface Summit.  Sheraton Airport Hotel in Albuquerque, NM.  It is becoming essential for fire management professionals, emergency responders, local government officials, and residents to partner and increase wildfire preparedness so that future fires are not absolute devastations. 

April 19-21, 2017 - Colorado Wildland Fire Conference.  Pueblo, CO. The conference theme is “Fire Adapted Communities: Moving from Awareness to Action, Messaging to Mitigation, & Words to Work.” Registration is now open.

April 25-27, 2017 - National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science.  Reno, NV.  A workshop intended for all stakeholders interested in applying sound science to the implementation of the Cohesive Strategy.            

May 10-12, 2017 - Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium.  Orleans, CA. Every three years, land managers, scientists, tribes, conservationists and community members gather to discuss fire management, history and ecology in the Klamath Mountains and beyond. Nowhere else in the country are the social, cultural, and ecological realities of fire discussed with such candor and connection to place. For more info,
May 15-16, 2017 (Olympia, WA) and May 18-19, 2017 (Springfield, OR) - Using Your Mobile Device for High Precision GPS Forestry Data Collection and Do It Yourself Accurate Drone Mapping in Natural Resources.  These back-to-back sessions in each location will cover the accuracy of the GPS chip inside your smartphone, iPad or android device as well as the FAA rule changes and how it's easier and less expensive now to start collecting field data with your own drone.  

May 15-16, 2017 -  Westside Fire Regime Summit: Fire in the Pacific Northwest - Past, Present & Future in Vancouver, WA. This summit will address the state of knowledge and research on fire regimes for forests and grasslands west of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. 

November 28 - Dec 2, 2017 - AFE International Fire Congress.  Orlando, FL. The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) and Southern Fire Exchange will be co-hosting “Fire Vision 20/20: A 20 Year Reflection and Look into the Future.”

Useful Tools

“Modifying LANDFIRE Geospatial Data for Local Applications” provides clear introductions to LANDFIRE products, explains where and how to look for common problems with the data, and offers guidance on how to complete common modification tasks. It is an excellent resource for anyone working with LANDFIRE data, but should be especially helpful to those who need to refine the data for local application.

May 6, 2017 - National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day - nationwide locations. A great tool to engage communities in wildfire mitigation activities.    
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 © 2016 Western Region, National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.  
All rights reserved.   

To UNSUBSCRIBE, please email Coordinator.  
DO NOT click on the unsubscribe link below.  

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Western Regional Strategy Committee · 1951 NW Canyon Drive · Redmond, OR 97756 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp