Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Comparing potential fuel treatment trade-off models

January 1, 2003

Understanding the trade-offs between short-term and long-term consequences of fire impacts on ecosystems is needed before a comprehensive fuels management program can be implemented nationally. We are evaluating 3 potential trade-off models at 8 locations in major U.S. fuel types. We present results of the initial testing of the 3 selected models/modelling approaches and a 4th model on the Bitterroot National Forest (BNF) in western Montana. The selected models/modelling approaches were 1) the Fire Emissions Trade-off Model (FETM), 2) sequential use of the SIMPPLLE and MAGIS models, 3) the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT), and 4) the LANDscape Succession Model (LANDSUM). We simulated 3 fuel treatments over 50 years: 1) no action, 2) prescribed burning in ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir types at 2 different rates, and 3) timber harvesting that returns the stand to a reproduction stage. Simulation results for all models suggested that the acreage of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine types would not be appreciably altered by the fuel treatments. Most models suggested the harvest treatment would reduce area burned by wildfire and smoke emissions; some models suggested the prescribed fire treatment would reduce wildfire acreage. All models suggested that the harvest treatment would reduce acreage of pole-size trees; some models suggested the fire treatment would increase acreage of sapling-size trees.

Publication Year 2003
Title Comparing potential fuel treatment trade-off models
DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-0307-9_2
Authors David R. Weise, R. Kimberlin, M. Arbaugh, J. Chew, G. Jones, J. Merzenich, M. Witala, R. Keane, M. Schaff, Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Systems Analysis in Forest Resources.
Index ID 87365
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center