Although vegetation treatments can reduce fire potential, they may have unintended ecological effects, but there has been little published on possible impacts—especially for Alaska. So the recent publication (Melvin, et al. 2017) of a study on interior Alaska fuel treatments by an interdisciplinary team of researchers is an important addition to regional management resources. In fact, it probably represents the FIRST published paper specifically on how fuel-reduction affects carbon and nutrient pools, permafrost thaw, and forest successional trajectories. The analysis included 19 sites managed by numerous Alaska agencies covering a large swath from Nenana to Deltana, and were sampled at various ages from 2-12 years post-thinning or shearblading. Our third AFSC Research Brief of 2017 is a digest of the study results.
Full Citation: Melvin, A. M., et al. (2017), Fuel-reduction management alters plant composition, carbon and nitrogen pools, and soil thaw in Alaskan boreal forest. Ecol Appl. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/eap.1636
A new report by USFWS Kenai Refuge fire staff (Nate Perrine) examines
areas where the 2015 Card Street fire intersected completed fuels treatments. He utilized IFTDSS (Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System) modeling to analyze the treatment effect on fire behavior, and also documented post fire effects within the treated areas. This well-illustrated discussion includes recommendations for future treatments and analyses–a must-read for fire fuels specialists in Alaska! Click below to download a pdf.
The Effects and Use of Fuel Treatments during the Card Street Fire
The Nenana Ridge Experimental Burn Project (06-2-1-396) Final Report is now available from the Joint Fire Science Program.
This project was funded by the Joint Fire Science Program with contributions from local, state and federal agencies. This project was designed to quantify the effects of fuels reduction treatments on fire behavior and post-fire vegetation dynamics in Alaska black spruce. The study began in 2006 with installation of four 1-acre treatment blocks. Two blocks were thinned to 8 x 8 foot spacing and limbed, one was shearbladed, and one was shearbladed and windrowed. These four blocks were replicated in the adjacent forest unit, with the intent to burn each Unit (A and B) separately. Unit A was successfully ignited on June 17, 2009. READ MORE
Forest thinning, such as this work done in the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon, may be of value for some purposes but will also increase carbon emissions to atmosphere, researchers say. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)
News from Science Daily:
Forest health versus global warming: Fuel reduction likely to increase carbon emissions.
Read the full Journal Article:
John L Campbell, Mark E Harmon, Stephen R Mitchell. Can fuel-reduction treatments really increase forest carbon storage in the western US by reducing future fire emissions? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2011; : 111215051503003 DOI: 10.1890/110057
Direct from the Source:
Oregon State University News
It’s that time of year again to reset from the busy summer and catch up on the latest news in fire science and management planning. Webinars are becoming the fastest and easiest way to communicate from afar. Here’s just a glimpse of some free webinars coming your way (shown in Alaska Time):