USDA Forest Service

Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment


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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: Partnership Works to Reduce Fuels and Fire Risk

The Kaibab National Forest of northern Arizona has teamed with several local agencies to aid private property owners in removing trees from their property in order to reduce the threat of wildland fire and enhance forest health

The goal of the Rural Communities Fuels Management Partnership is to reduce the threat that wildland fire poses to lives and property by helping private landowners near the Kaibab National Forest implement tree-thinning treatments on their property. Through those treatments, the project seeks to not only reduce fire risk, but also improve overall forest health and complement fuels reduction treatments occurring on adjacent national forest lands.

The project partners first came together in winter 2000/2001 because of the Kaibab National Forest's focus on both fuels reduction and community assistance emphasis areas of the National Fire Plan. The goal of the partnership is to treat continuous acres of forest regardless of ownership in order to be most effective in reducing the threat of wildland fires.

In these years of large, dangerous wildland fires, the Rural Communities Fuels Management Partnership is leading the way in tying private property treatments into larger fuels reduction initiatives. The project's partners understand that in order to be truly effective in the fight against devastating wildland fires, communities within the wildland-urban interface need treatment just as National Forests and other public lands do.

Since implementation began in fall 2001, more than 100 acres of private property many of them heavily forested 1-acre lots have been thinned in communities surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest . Many more property owners have signed up for the treatments, and the project's partners will be moving into other local communities this fall. Because of these successes, the project has earned a USDA Secretary's Honors Award for Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation's Natural Resources and Environment.

As with most successes, this project's strengths are its partners the Kaibab National Forest , Arizona State Land Department, University of Arizona Coconino County Cooperative Extension , Coconino County , Northern Arizona University 's Ecological Restoration Institute, the Arizona Department of Corrections, and the Parks-Bellemont and Sherwood Forest Estates volunteer fire departments.

Given the major wildland fires of recent years, local residents are looking for ways to protect their families and their property. The partners of the Rural Communities Fuels Management Partnership are trying to help them with that. The partnership has truly become a template to be replicated in other wildland-urban interface communities threatened by fire.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST

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