Fire, Fuel Treatments, and Restoration Ecology

Science Center Objects

Land managers have invested considerable funding to decrease fuel loads and restore resilient ecosystems in forests and rangelands, using techniques such as grazing, mowing, herbicides, and thinning. Yet, little information is available about how such restoration activities have influenced wildlife species and habitats. We are conducting empirical studies and developing novel approaches to better quantify and predict the ecological effects and effectiveness of fuel manipulations. We combine field sampling, experimental manipulations, remote sensing, and modeling at relevant scales from plots to landscapes. The assessments will help resource managers and scientists to predict fire risk, assess effects of management activities on fuel loads and native species, and assess short- and long-range fire effects and fuel treatment effectiveness.