Minutes of the

Prevention and Education Committee,

of the

Northern Rockies Coordinating Group



October 29th- 31st, 2001, Fairmont Hot Springs


Members Present:

Cathy Scofield, USFS, R1

Connie Fox, USFS, Lolo NF, Southwest Zone Rep.

Pat Mullaney, BLM, MT State Office

Tim Sayles, Missoula Rural Fire District

Lee Clark, USFS, Lewis & Clark NF, Central Zone Rep

John Allhands, Local Government

Denny Sutherland, NPS, Yellowstone Park

Mike Kopitzki, DNRC, Missoula

Mike Dannenberg, BLM, MT State Office

Dena Spandel, BLM, Miles City






The first topic of discussion was the membership of this committee.  This committee has experienced some turnover of membership, including the Chairperson.  Most of the zone positions have been filled (see membership list at end of minutes) and the previous agency rep positions are still filled.  Several agencies that are members of NRCG are not currently represented on the Prevention and Education Committee.  The committee is also not well represented from the education side of the committee.


Action Item: The committee chair will present a request to NRCG members from the FWS, BIA, and MT. Fire Wardens to provide members to the Prevention and Education Committee.


Status: DONE The above agencies agreed to find representation for the committee.











Because DC Haas has accepted a position in Oregon as the Director of Keep Oregon Green, a new Chairperson was selected.  It was decided that this position should rotate between the agencies, with the Montana BLM being next followed by the National Park Service.


Action: Mike Dannenberg assumed the chair position; Denny Sutherland was selected as Vice-Chair.



Members Roles and Responsibilities


The committee discussed the roles and responsibilities of members, both zone representatives and Agency representatives.


Zone Representatives:


Agency Representatives




GB/NR Fire Prevention/Education Workshops




Actions: A thank you letter needs to be written to Keep MT Green for their support.  A $500 donation will also be made to their organization for the financial support that they provided.

Action:  Mike will write the letter, Mike Kopitzke will handle the donation.



The Great Basin is the primary sponsor of the 2002 Workshop.  The 2001 workshop in Whitefish had a $1,500 surplus after all bills had been paid.  This money will be forwarded to the 2002 Workshop Committee as start up money.  Because of the amount of workload involved in hosting a large workshop and to provide continuity between the Geographic Areas, the Northern Rockies will provide committee members to assist with this year’s workshop.  They are: Mike Dannenberg, Denny Sutherland, Lee Clark, and Dena Sprandel.



The 2003 workshop is to be held in Idaho.   Since Idaho is shared by the two geographic areas, it was suggested that we have a joint hosted workshop committee.


Action:  Mike will propose the idea to the Great Basin Prevention Committee. 




Prevention/Education Committee Strategic Vision


The committee reviewed the content of the document titled “Strategic Vision for Wildland Fire Prevention in the Northern Rockies” to verify that the concepts it contained were still sound.

(See www.fs.fed.us/r1/fire/nrcg/committees/prevention_committee.html)

After reviewing this document, the committee felt that the ideas were still sound and the National Fire Plan strengthened the Strategic Vision.  It was noted that the strategic vision opening does not match the mission statement for the committee as described in the charter and there is a need to add the mitigation role to prevention.


Action Item:  All committee members were asked to review this document more closely and send comments to Pat Mullaney.  Mike will take a look at the charter to see if changes need to be made. 







Several prevention training opportunities coming up and more needed.


Needed: Prevention Position (job) Training







Lee Clark, Lewis and Clark N.F. gave a presentation showing the preplanning/mapping with GIS that the Lewis and Clark is doing in the Rocky Mountain Front.



Readiness Reviews


The prevention and Education Committee discussed the readiness reviews conducted each spring and whether prevention measures were a review topic.  The committee encourages all NRCG members conducting readiness reviews to include Wildland fire prevention/mitigation as part of the review process.


Also discussed the need for the P&E committee to visit with those people working in the prevention field.  Efforts will be made to move the prevention committee meetings around the Geographic Area and allocate time to meet with those people conducting local prevention efforts.



Preparedness Levels


A review of the preparedness levels within the National and Geographical Mob Guides show very little reference to prevention activities, and no reference to local or national prevention teams.  The P&E committee feels that the mob guide preparedness levels may be an excellent place to start coordinating prevention actions.


Action Item:  Mike Dannenberg to contact Ray Nelson to find out more about getting prevention actions into the mob guide.





A discussion of the Restrictions and Closures plan showed that most users felt that the 2001 plan was an improvement over the old plan.  There are some things that still need to be worked out.




An Action Plan for implementation from the last P&E Committee meeting in Bozeman was reviewed and projects assigned.






Communities at Risk-National Fire Plan


During the June, 2001 meeting, the P&E Committee worked on a rating system to rate and quantify Montana communities at risk, as per the National Fire Plan.  Idaho is using it’s own system (Chairman is not sure what North Dakota is using).  A rating system was worked on, but never released to the zones for testing.


Questions that needed to be asked:


This topic was carried to the NRCG for disposition.  NRCG stated they would like to see the draft of the Rating System, but due to the fact that there has not been interest shown in a communities rating since the last list of Communities at Risk in the Federal Register August 17th, 2001, the P&E committee should table this.



Living with Fire


The Living with Fire information papers were distributed through the Lee Enterprise papers in Montana as Sunday inserts.  The committee feels that the effectiveness of this paper as a newspaper insert is dropping off.



Prevention Web Site


Discussed the need for a prevention oriented web site for public use as a central point for web site links.  More discussion is required for this topic.



Important Dates

Next meeting: February11-13, 2002, Denny Sutherland to coordinate.

Pacific Northwest Prevention Workshop: February 25-March 1, 2002

Great Basin/Northern Rockies Workshop: May 6-10, 2002






Committee Member

North Idaho

Sandy Groth, Forest Service

Northwest Montana

Miles Friend, Forest Service

Southwest Montana

Connie Fox, Forest Service

Central Montana

Lee Clark, Local Government

South Central Montana

Bill Breedlove, Forest Service

Eastern Montana

Dena Sprandel, Bureau of Land Management

North Dakota

Mike Santucci, North Dakota FS

 Agency Representative


Pat Cross, DNRC

 Agency Representative

Bureau of Land Management

Mike Dannenberg, BLM


Agency Representative

Forest Service

Cathy Scofield, FS

 Agency Representative

National Park Service

Denny Sutherland, NPS


Agency Representative

Montana State Fire Wardens


Agency Representative 

Fish and Wildlife Service


 Agency Representative 

Bureau of Indian Affairs












Committee Member


John Allhands, Technical Specialist

Local Government


Tim Sayles, Technical Specialist

Missoula Rural Fire District


Bruce Suenram, Technical Specialist

Local Government


Ann Acheson, Technical Specialist

Forest Service


Bill Peterson, Technical Specialist

Education, Globe Program






















Jim Greene, NRCG Liaison

Montana Disaster and Emergency Services Division