USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

About Us: Research Accomplishments 2012

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Interdisciplinary Strategies

Adapting to a Changing Climate, Urban Natural Resources Stewardship, Water, and Wildland Fire

Four strategic plans outline the Pacific Southwest Research Station's (PSW) direction over the next decade for adapting to a changing climate, urban natural resources stewardship, water, and wildland fire. In each of these areas, PSW's research, development, and technology will be interdisciplinary and collaborative. The strategies reach across PSW's research programs and are coordinated with the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, National Forests, other Research Stations, universities, and other government organizations. The plans focus on natural resources in California, Hawai‘i, and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.

ADAPTING TO A CHANGING CLIMATE

Burned stump from a Giant Sequoia, taken in Sequoia National Park. [Photo by Pat Winter] On-click enlarges photo. Burned stump from a Giant Sequoia, taken in Sequoia National Park. [Photo by Pat Winter]

For nearly a century, Forest Service Research and Development has investigated important stressors on the Nation's forests and rangelands and developed practices to manage for healthy, sustainable, productive, and resilient ecosystems. Over the last two decades, our research has specifically improved the understanding of how a changing climate impacts our Nation's forests, rangelands, and urban areas. We have also examined how forests and forest management can reduce emissions or increase carbon sequestration to help mitigate a changing climate by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

WATER

Riparian area in Sequoia National Forest. [Photo courtesy of California State University, Fresno] On-click enlarges photo. Riparian area in Sequoia National Forest. [Photo courtesy of California State University, Fresno]

Approximately 87 percent of our country's fresh water supply originates from forests and agricultural lands. More than 200 million people rely on their drinking water from public and private forests and grasslands. PSW's research helps inform future management decisions to protect water-related goods and services, such as abundant and clean drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, slowing of storm runoff, and water-related recreational opportunities. Our water strategy plan concentrates on four critical components: projecting the impacts of disturbance on water and the resulting goods and services; understanding the watershed processes that will be impacted by these disturbances; identifying critical aquatic species at risk and developing appropriate tools and management practices to mitigate adverse impacts; and developing best management practices and tools to maintain watershed health in natural ecosystems and for urban areas to help mitigate the impact of a changing water supply.

URBAN NATURAL RESOURCES STEWARDSHIP

Trees line a residential street and overhang the sidewalk. [U.S. Forest Service] On-click enlarges photo. Trees line a residential street and overhang the sidewalk. [U.S. Forest Service]

More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, cities and suburbs. Forest Service Research and Development strives to foster the proper care of natural resources and the advancement of ecosystem services in urban landscapes. PSW and its partners continue to develop tools that will assist the citizenry in making appropriate planning and management decisions on creating healthy and sustainable urban ecosystems for their communities. Focus areas include: urban water, green infrastructure, humans and fire, and environmental justice.

WILDLAND FIRE

Smoke covers the ground among trees that have recently burned. [Photo by Steve McKelvey] On-click enlarges photo. Smoke covers the ground among trees that have recently burned. [Photo by Steve McKelvey]

The mission of PSW's wildland fire research is to provide the knowledge and tools that managers need to reduce negative impacts and enhance beneficial effects of fire and fire management on society and the environment. Our science will guide land management practices so they reflect an understanding of the diverse impacts of fire and fuels management, and of fire's role as a disturbance on a regional, as well as global scale; assist individuals and communities to recognize their options and accept their responsibilities regarding fire safety when living in fire-affected ecosystems; and provide fire managers with state-of-the-art, science-based knowledge and decision-support tools.

Last Modified: May 1, 2013 06:45:52 PM