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Title: Objectives and considerations for wildland fuel treatment in forested ecosystems of the interior western United States

Author: Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Keane, Robert E.; Calkin, David E.; Cohen, Jack D.

Date: 2008

Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 256: 1997-2006.

Publication Series: Not categorized

Description: Many natural resource agencies and organizations recognize the importance of fuel treatments as tools for reducing fire hazards and restoring ecosystems. However, there continues to be confusion and misconception about fuel treatments and their implementation and effects in fire-prone landscapes across the United States. This paper (1) summarizes objectives, methods, and expected outcomes of fuel treatments in forests of the Interior West, (2) highlights common misunderstandings and areas of disagreement, and (3) synthesizes relevant literature to establish a common ground for future discussion and planning. It is important to understand the strengths and limitations of fuel treatments to evaluate their potential to achieve an objective, develop sensible fire management policies, and plan for their effective use. We suggest that, while the potential of fuel treatment to reduce wildfire occurrence or enhance suppression capability is uncertain, it has an important role in mitigating negative wildfire effects, increasing ecosystem resilience and making wildfire more acceptable.

Keywords: prescribed fire, forest restoration, wildland urban interface, fuel management

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Keane, Robert E.; Calkin, David E.; Cohen, Jack D. 2008. Objectives and considerations for wildland fuel treatment in forested ecosystems of the interior western United States. Forest Ecology and Management. 256: 1997-2006.

 


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