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The Healthy Forests Initiative and Healthy Forests Restoration Act
Interim Field Guide

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Glossary

At-Risk Community—In Title I of the HFRA, this term means an area comprised of:

  • An interface community as defined in the notice Wildland Urban Interface Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal Lands That Are at High Risk From Wildfire issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with Title IV of the U.S. Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (114 Stat. 1009) (66 FR 753, January 4, 2001)
    OR

  • A group of homes and other structures with basic infrastructure and services (such as utilities and collectively maintained transportation routes) within or adjacent to Federal land
    AND

  • In which conditions are conducive to a large-scale wildland fire disturbance event
    AND

  • For which a significant threat to human life or property exists as a result of a wildland fire disturbance event

Authorized Hazardous-Fuel-Reduction Project—In Title I of the HFRA, this term means projects carried out on the specific types of BLM and NFS lands authorized under HFRA Section 102 using various methods to reduce hazardous fuel, including: prescribed fire, wildland fire use, and various mechanical methods, such as crushing, tractor and hand piling, thinning (to produce commercial or precommercial products), and pruning.

Community Wildfire Protection Plan—In Title I of the HFRA, this term means a plan for an at-risk community that:

  • Is developed in the context of the collaborative agreements and the guidance established by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council and agreed to by the applicable local government, local fire department, and State agency responsible for forest management, in consultation with interested parties and the Federal land-management agencies managing land in the vicinity of the at-risk community

  • Identifies areas for hazardous-fuel-reduction treatments, sets priorities for treating them, and recommends the types and methods of treatment on Federal and non-Federal land that will protect one or more at-risk communities and their essential infrastructure
    AND

  • Recommends measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the at-risk community

Condition Class 2—This term means the condition class description developed by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in the Development of Coarse-Scale Spatial Data for Wildland Fire and Fuel Management (RMRS-GTR-87, http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr87.html), dated April 2000 (including any subsequent revisions), under which:

  • Fire regimes on the land have been moderately altered from historical ranges.
  • A moderate risk exists of losing key ecosystem components from fire.
  • Fire frequencies have increased or decreased from historical frequencies by one or more return intervals, resulting in moderate changes to:
    • The size, frequency, intensity, or severity of fires.
      OR

    • Landscape patterns.
      AND

    • Vegetation attributes have been moderately altered from their historical ranges.

Condition Class 3—This term means the condition class description developed by the Rocky Mountain Research Station in RMRS-GTR-87 (see above) under which:

  • Fire regimes on land have been significantly altered from historical ranges.

  • A high risk exists of losing key ecosystem components from fire.

  • Fire frequencies have departed from historical frequencies by multiple return intervals, resulting in dramatic changes to:

    • The size, frequency, intensity, or severity of fires.
      OR

    • Landscape patterns.
      AND

  • Values of vegetation attributes have been significantly altered from their historical ranges.

Covered Project—This term means authorized hazardous-fuel reduction projects carried out on land described in Section 102(a) of the HFRA, except projects designed to reduce significant insect and disease threats (Section 102(a)(4)).

Decision Document—In Title I of the HFRA, this term means:

  • A decision notice (as that term is used in the USDA Forest Service Handbook)
  • A decision record (as that term is used in the Bureau of Land Management Handbook)
  • A record of decision (as that term is used in applicable regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality)

Fire Regime I—This term means an area:

  • That historically has had low-severity fires every 0 to 35 years
    AND
  • That is located primarily in low-elevation forests of pine, oak, and pinyon-juniper

Fire Regime II—This term means an area:

  • That historically has had stand-replacement-severity fires every 0 to 35 years
    AND
  • That is located primarily in low- to mid-elevation rangeland, grassland, or shrubland

Fire Regime III—This term means an area:

  • That historically has had mixed-severity fires every 35 to 100 years
    AND
  • That is located primarily in forests of mixed conifer, dry Douglas-fir, or wet ponderosa pine

Hazard—This term means a set of conditions that make a forest stand vulnerable to significant damage (usually tree mortality) as a result of an insect or disease epidemic. Often, this term is used with an assessment of pest populations (see Risk).

Implementation Plan—This term means A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan (May 2002 and subsequent revisions, http://www.fireplan.gov/reports/11-23-en.pdf), developed pursuant to the conference report that accompanied the U.S. Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (House Report 106-64).

Interface Community—As defined in the Federal Register notice of January 4, 2001, an interface community is a community where structures directly abut wildland fuels. A clear line of demarcation generally exists between the wildland fuels and residential, business, and public structures. Wildland fuels generally do not extend into the developed area. The development density for an interface community is usually three or more structures per acre, with shared municipal services. Fire protection is generally provided by a local government fire department, which has the responsibility to protect structures from interior fires and from wildland fires. An alternative definition of the interface community emphasizes a population density of 250 or more people per square mile (66 FR 753).

Municipal Watershed—A community water system “that serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents of the area served by the system; or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents” (Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1401, 42 U.S.C.A. 300f.(15)).

Municipal Water Supply System—This term means the:

  • Reservoirs, canals, ditches, flumes, laterals, pipes, pipelines, and other surface facilities
    AND

  • Systems constructed or installed for the collection, impoundment, storage, transportation, or distribution of drinking water

Old-Growth Management Direction—This term means definitions, designations, standards, guidelines, goals, or objectives established for an old-growth stand under a resource management plan developed in accordance with applicable law.

Resource Management Plan—This term means:

  • A land and resource management plan prepared for one or more units of land of the National Forest System described in Section 3(1)(A) under Section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1604)
    OR

  • A land-use plan prepared for one or more units of the public land described in Section 3(1)(B) under Section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712).

Risk—This term expresses the likelihood that an insect or disease outbreak will cause significant economic or environmental damage to a stand or forest. Often, this term is used with an assessment of hazard (see Hazard).

Threatened and Endangered Species Habitat—In Title I of the HFRA, this term means Federal land identified in a:

  • Determination that a species is an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

  • Designation of critical habitat of the species under the ESA
    OR

  • Recovery plan prepared for the species under the ESA

Wildland-Urban Interface—In applying Title I of the HFRA, this term means:

  • An area within or adjacent to an at-risk community identified in recommendations to the Secretary in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan
    OR

  • In the case of any area for which a Community Wildfire Protection Plan is not in effect:

    • An area extending 1/2 mile from the boundary of an at-risk community

    • An area within 1 1/2 miles of the boundary of an at-risk community, including any land that:

      • Has a sustained steep slope that creates the potential for wildland fire behavior endangering the at-risk community

      • Has a geographic feature that aids in creating an effective firebreak, such as a road or ridgetop
        OR

      • Is in Condition Class 3, as documented by the Secretary in the project-specific environmental analysis
        AND

    • An area that is adjacent to an evacuation route for an at-risk community that the Secretary determines—in cooperation with the at-risk community—requires hazardous-fuel reduction to provide safer evacuation.

When you are not using Title I of the HFRA, use the definition of wildland-urban interface community from the Federal Register, January 4, 2001, pages 752 to 753.


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