Post-fire rehabilitation seeding in the U.S. Intermountain West, primarily conducted by the Bureau of Land Management, is designed to reduce the risk of erosion and weed invasion while increasing desirable plant cover. Seeding effectiveness is typically monitored for three years following treatment, after which a closeout report is prepared. We evaluated 220 third-year closeout reports describing 214 aerial and 113 drill seedings implemented after wildfires from 2001 through 2006. Each treatment was assigned a qualitative success rating of good, fair, poor, or failure based on information in the reports. Seeding success varied by both treatment (aerial or drill) and year. Aerial seedings were rated 13.6% good, 18.3% fair, 29.6% poor, and 38.5% failure. Drill seedings were rated as 30.1% good, 24.8% fair, 23.0% poor, and 22.1% failure. Logistic regression analysis found that aerial seedings were more successful with increasing elevation, long-term average precipitation, and precipitation received in the first and third years following treatment. Drill seeding success was best explained by elevation only, suggesting that these treatments are less sensitive to long-term average and precipitation received after treatment than aerial seedings. We found monitoring reports did not report seeding success consistently using quantiative objectives, control areas to proived adequate comparisons, and did not provide maps, making them difficult to assess spatially. Providing additional information in monitoring reports about important factors that can influence seeding success such as pre-fire vegetation would be useful for the creation of a decision analysis tool to aid land managers who are confronted with whether or not to perform post-fire rehabilitation treatments given limited resources and budgets.
|Title||Compilation of BLM Monitoring Reports Assessing Post Wildfire Seeding of Rangelands, 2001-2009|
|Authors||David A. Pyke, Troy A. Wirth|
|Product Type||Data Release|
|Record Source||USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog|
|USGS Organization||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|