Post-fire recovery in Western forests
Pre-fire land management (timber harvest) and post-fire activities (salvage and suppression) are affecting trajectories of fuel accumulation and vegetation succession thus having profound effects on reburn potential, future fire regimes, and the resilience of post-fire landscapes. While a number of studies have examined short term responses to fire in forests with mixed severity regimes, data are lacking on the dynamics of change associated with differences in fire severity and management alternatives in the decades following fire. This research project encompasses six fires in the western Cascades of Oregon that provide a unique natural experiment to quantify long-term changes in succession, fuel dynamics and potential fire behavior. This study will provide managers with direct information on the impacts and effectiveness of management alternatives at multiple spatial and temporal scales. This effort is a collaboration with Dr. Boone Kauffman at Oregon State University and USDA Forest Service Researchers David Bell, Jane Kertis, and Steve Acker.