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.

Effectiveness of Upland Fuel Reduction Treatments

In collaboration with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), a research team has designed and implemented a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) research project with six paired treatment/control sites located in typical mixed conifer forest conditions on the west shore. Starting in the summer of 2006 with Round 5 Tahoe SNPLMA funding, the initial effort yielded pretreatment data on vegetation, fuel loads, vertebrates, and invertebrates. In 2007, PSW collected posttreatment data on two west shore pairs of units that were treated in fall 2006, and installed two additional paired treatment/control sites on the east shore. The resulting report (Stanton and Dailey 2007) and database includes parameters for vegetation composition and structure, fuel loading, songbirds and woodpeckers, small mammals, butterflies, and ground-dwelling invertebrates (emphasizing ants). The next phase of this project will complete the sampling regime on seven pairs of sample sites that are planned for treatment, according to the table below.

Full title: Upland Fuel Reduction Treatments in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Forest Restoration Effectiveness

Proposal [pdf]

Lead Researchers: Pat Manley, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station; Bruce M. Pavlik, Mills College; Dennis Murphy, University of Nevada Reno

  1. Provide forest managers with rapid feedback on the effectiveness and biotic response of hand and mechanical fuel reduction treatments currently being implemented in the forest types found in the lower montane zone in the Lake Tahoe basin

Sites: Five sites on west side, two sites on east side

Fuel Treatment Sites

Unit Name and number Treatment prescription Treatment year 1 year postsample 2 years postsample
Ward Ck Unit 20-16 PAC,* hand to 10 inches, pile/burn 2007 2008 2009
McKinney Ck Unit 13-1 Hand to 14 inches, pile/burn 2006 2007 2008
Ward Ck Unit 20-9 Mechanical to 24 inches, masticate 2008 2009 2010
Blackwood Ck Unit 1-4 PAC, mechanical to 24 inches, masticate 2006 2007 2008
Twin Crags Unit 3 PAC, mechanical to 24 inches, masticate 2008 2009 2010
North Canyon Unit 1 Hand to 14 inches, pile/burn 2007 2008 2009
North Canyon Unit 2 Hand to 14 inches pile/burn 2007 2008 2009
*PAC = Protected Activity Center for sensitive bird species

Timeframe: June 2008 through May 2011 (3 years)

Expected date of final products: December 2011.
Progress Report available for download


  1. Multiple presentations at agency and scientific meetings
  2. One or more peer-reviewed publications
  3. Final report that (a) evaluates the observed changes in conditions at treated sites, (b) assesses their ability to meet desired conditions, and (c) identifies candidate indicators that best detect changes in forest structure and composition.
Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 02:52:08 PM