Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists (CAFMS)
The Center for Forest Disturbance Science, SRS-4156 and The Nature Conservancy are among 8 groups from across the country to receive funding from the Joint Fire Science Program to develop a regional consortium for fire science delivery. From this grant, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists (CAFMS) was formed to actively facilitate communication between fire managers and scientists. CAFMS uses a number of formats by building on their existing ties established for the Fire Learning Network. CAFMS includes fire managers along with government and university scientists throughout the Appalachian region which stretches from Pennsylvania to Alabama. Prescribed fire is a new tool in this region and a great need exists for science delivery. A primary deliverable for the consortium is research syntheses of fire effects on multiple ecosystems. Meetings, workshops, road trips, and other means of promoting communication among scientists and managers are used to deliver science results and identify management needs.
The CAFMS web page is a popular means of science delivery (cafms.org). There, summaries of the top 30 publications on fire in the region are given for quick study. A discussion forum allows managers and scientists to resolve problems by receiving input from others facing the same problem. The web site also contains a calendar of upcoming events and special announcements for all who are interested. CAFMS is also active with social media. They can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/find-friends/?sfrm#!/group.php?gid=153965557964984) and Twitter (@APfirescience).
In January 2011, the Consortium distributed a questionnaire to managers and scientists to determine the priority research needs for fire in the Appalachian Region. The seven-member board studied the responses and developed three research questions that were submitted to the Joint Fire Science Program for potential funding. Top priorities included impacts of long-term burning regimes, control of exotic invasives, and smoke management in the mountains. It was a great opportunity to provide this input to the JFSP Governing Board and we received positive feedback from them. This type of communication is a major function of each of the eight JFSP Knowledge Exchange Consortia, like CAFMS. It provides a direct link from managers on the ground to administrators who make decisions about budgets and how research dollars are allocated.
A Smoke Management Workshop is scheduled in Charlottesville, VA on August 24, 2011. This course will examine some of the challenges faced when trying to manage smoke in mountainous terrain. The workshop will spend some time looking at each component of the smoke management process from estimating fuel loads, consumption and emissions, as well as transport and diffusion. A primary focus will be on the differences between managing smoke in the Coastal Plain and the Mountains. A range of tools will be explored that are available to assist land managers with managing smoke and spend some time examining case studies of smoke management gone wrong. The primary focus of this workshop is not specific training on any one tool; but rather, improving ones understanding of smoke management and the factors that can contribute to undesirable smoke management outcomes.
Forest Service Partners