||A type of natural resource
management that implies making decisions as part of an on-going
process. Monitoring the results of actions will provide
a flow of information that may indicate the need to change a course
of action. Scientific findings and the needs of society
may also indicate the need to adapt resource management to new
||A fan-shaped sediment
deposit at the bottom of a drainage.
||The aquatic zone of
a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a
tidewater that remains under water the entire year. Plants
in this zone have special adaptations that enable them to survive
being partially or totally under water.
Management Research Project
||The use of living organisms, such as predators, parasites,
and pathogens, to control weeds, pest insects, or diseases.
||The amount of all living
or dead plant material in an area. In terms of forest biomass
utilization, it is often used to refer to the woody material (resulting
from forest treatments) that is unsuitable for traditional forest
products such as pulp wood or lumber.
| BIOMASS BOILER
||Boiler fired by biomass used to produce thermal
heat and/or electricity.
||The plant and animal
life of a particular region.
| BREEDING PRODUCTIVITY
||The number of young successfully produced per
pair of birds in a season.
||Using fire over an
entire unit to reduce natural fuels or logging residue or to restore
||Cover composed predominantly
of forbs, which are nongrass, nonwoody plants.
AREA EMERGENCY REHABILITATION (BAER)
||The treatment of an
ecosystem following disturbance to minimize subsequent effects.
||The state of the combined
factors of the environment that affect fire behavior in a specified
||The part of any stand
of trees represented by the tree crowns. It usually refers
to the uppermost layer of foliage, but it can be used to describe
lower layers in a multi-storied forest.
||A synonym for "crown
||The proportion of ground
or water covered by a vertical projection of the outermost perimeter
of the natural spread of foliage or plants, including small openings
within the canopy. Note that total canopy coverage may exceed
100 percent because of layering of different vegetative strata
such as grass, shrubs, and trees.
| CARBON BALANCE
||The concentration of carbon released into the
atmosphere compared to the amounts stored in the oceans, soil, and vegetation.
| CARBON OR GREENHOUSE GAS OFFSETS
||A greenhouse gas offset is generated by the reduction, avoidance,
or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions from a specific project. Offsets counteract or offset greenhouse
gases that would have been emitted into the atmosphere;
they are a compensating equivalent for reductions made at a specific source of emissions.
| CARBON SEQUESTRATION
||The provision of long-term storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere, underground, or the oceans so that the buildup of carbon dioxide
(the principal greenhouse gas) concentration in the atmosphere will reduce or slow.
||A category of actions
that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect
on the human environment and that have been found to have no such
effect in procedures adopted by a Federal agency in implementation
of NEPA regulations and for which, therefore, neither an environmental
assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.
||Land management that
addresses the needs of all associated species, communities, environments,
and ecological processes in a land area.
woody material. Usually logs (generally greater than about 3 inches
diameter) or snags.
||A coalition of diverse
people with diverse values and expectations working together at
the community level to solve problems.
PLUS NET VALUE CHANGE (C + NVC)
||Cost includes both
the fixed annual cost for the protection organization (annual
fire program budget) and the variable suppression (emergency fire
fighting) costs; NVC is the difference in value of planned resource
outputs (such as timber harvest) on an area before and after a
||An area occupied by
vegetation or foliage.
||A specific geographic
area(s) that is essential for the conservation of a threatened
or endangered species and that may require special management
||The part of a tree
or woody plant bearing live branches and foliage.
||The ground area covered
by the crowns of trees or woody vegetation. It is delimited
by the vertical projection of crown perimeters and commonly expressed
as a percent of total ground area. Crown cover measures the extent
to which the crowns of trees are nearing general contact with
||A fire burning into
the crowns of vegetation, generally associated with an intense
||A method of harvesting
trees by removing branches and tops and cutting logs to specific
lengths before moving them to the "landing" prior to transport.
||A computer model-for
example, SIMPPLLE-of processes, typically at landscape scales,
that includes 1) natural disturbances such as fire, insects, and
diseases that affect distribution of vegetation and 2) human-caused
disturbances such as vegetation treatment and cattle grazing.
||The layer of decomposing
organic materials lying below the litter layer of freshly fallen
twigs, needles, and leaves and immediately above the mineral soil.
||The variety, richness,
and viability of life forms (the BIOTA) and the processes which
occur in a specific location.
||An arrangement of living
and non-living things and the forces that move among them.
Living things include plants and animals. Non-living parts
of ecosystems may be rocks and minerals. Weather and wildfire
are two of the forces that act within ecosystems.
||Planning for ecosystem
||The numbers and kinds
of plants and animals in an area.
||All the processes within
an ecosystem through which the elements interact, such as succession,
the food chain, fire, weather, and the hydrologic cycle.
||The careful, skillful
use of ecological, economic, social, and managerial principles
in managing ecosystems to produce, restore, or sustain ecosystem
integrity and desired conditions, uses, products, and services
over the long term.
||Something going on
in the ecosystem. A natural phenomenon in an ecosystem that
leads toward a particular result.
||The sizes, shapes,
and/or ages of the plants and animals in an area.
||An identifiable component,
process, or condition of an ecosystem.
||EAs were authorized
by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. They
are concise, analytical documents prepared with public participation
that determine if an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed
for a particular project or action. If an EA determines an EIS
is not needed, the EA becomes the document allowing agency compliance
with NEPA requirements.
IMPACT STATEMENT (EIS)
||EISs were authorized
by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Prepared
with public participation, they assist decision makers by providing
information, analysis and an array of action alternatives, allowing
managers to see the probable effects of decisions on the environment.
Generally, EISs are written for large-scale actions or geographical
||A fire that has exceeded
or is expected to exceed initial attack capabilities or prescription.
||FARSITE is a fire growth
simulation model. It uses spatial information on topography and
fuels along with weather and wind files to simulate the spread
of wildfires and wildland fire use across the landscape.
generally with a comparatively high surface area-to-volume ratio,
which are less than 1/4-inch in diameter and have a timelag of
one hour or less. These fuels readily ignite and are rapidly consumed
by fire when dry.
||The manner in which
a fire reacts to the influences of fuel, weather, and topography.
||A model that predicts
the rate and direction of fire spread and fire intensity. FLAMMAP,
MTT, and TOM are examples of fire behavior models..
||A general term relating
to the heat energy released by a fire.
MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS ZONE (FMAZ)
||Basic geographic area
on which the National Fire Management Analysis is performed within
a planning unit. A FMAZ is represented by a single set of fire
behavior characteristics based on fuels, topography, and local
that define conditions under which a prescribed fire may be ignited,
guide selection of appropriate management responses, and indicate
other required actions. Prescription criteria may include safety,
economic, public health, environmental, geographic, administrative,
social, or legal considerations.
||The combination of
fire frequency, extent, predictability, intensity, and seasonality
in an ecosystem.
||Fire severity denotes
the scale at which vegetation and a site are altered or disrupted
by fire, from low to high severity. It is a combination of the
degree of fire effects on vegetation and on soil properties.
||The combination of
wildland fire use and prescribed fire application to meet resource
that influence fire ignition, behavior, and suppression.
||The average maximum
vertical extension of flames at the leading edge of the fire front.
Occasional flashes that rise above the general level of flames
are not considered. This distance is less than the flame length
if flames are tilted due to wind or slope.
||The distance between
the flame tip and the midpoint of the flame depth at the base
of the flame (generally the ground surface); an indicator of fire
| FLASH FUELS
||Fuels such as grass,
leaves, draped pine needles, fern, tree moss, and some kinds of
slash that ignite readily and are consumed rapidly when dry. Also
called fine fuels.
||A flume is an instream structure used
to measure the rate and quantity of streamflow.
VEGETATION SIMULATOR (FVS)
||The Forest Vegetation
Simulator (FVS) is a family of forest growth simulation models.
It is an individual-tree, distance-independent growth and yield
model that will simulate growth and yield for most major forest
tree species, forest types, and stand conditions.
Includes vegetation such as grass, leaves, ground litter, plants,
shrubs, and trees that feed a fire. (See Surface Fuels).
||The amount of burnable
(living or dead) material on the ground. It is measured
in tons per acre.
||The practice of evaluating,
planning, and executing the treatment of wildland fuel to control
flammability and reduce the resistance to control through mechanical,
chemical, biological, or manual means, or by prescribed and wildland
fire, in support of land management objectives.
||Simulated fuel complex
(or combination of vegetation types) for which all fuel descriptors
required for the solution of a mathematical rate of spread model
have been specified.
MOISTURE (FUEL MOISTURE CONTENT)
||The quantity of moisture
in fuel expressed as a percentage of the weight when thoroughly
dried at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
combustion, or removal of fuels to reduce the likelihood of ignition
and/or to lessen potential damage and resistance to control.
||An identifiable association
of fuel elements of a distinctive plant species, form, size, arrangement,
or other characteristics that will cause a predictable rate of
fire spread or difficulty of control under specified weather conditions.
(GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM)
||A computer system for
capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing,
and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface.
Typically, a GIS is used for handling maps of one kind or another.
These might be represented as several different layers where each
layer holds data about a particular kind of feature. Each feature
is linked to a position on the graphical image of a map.
||Any treatment of a
hazard that reduces the threat of ignition and fire intensity
or rate of spread.
||Fuels of large diameter
such as snags, logs, large limb wood, that ignite and are consumed
more slowly than flash fuels.
of hiding 90 percent of an adult elk or deer from human's view
at a distance of 200 feet or less.
RANGE OF VARIABILITY
|| The variation in spatial,
structural, compositional, and temporal characteristics of ecosystem
elements as affected by minor climatic fluctuations and disturbances
within the current climatic period. This range is measured during
a reference period prior to intensive resource use and management.
The range of historic variability is used as a baseline for comparison
with current conditions to assess the degree of past change.
|| A quarter- to third-inch
diameter column of wood taken from a tree trunk, usually for examining
growth rings and sometimes age.
||The actions taken by
the first resources to arrive at a wildfire to protect lives and
property, and prevent further extension of the fire.
ATTACK ASSESSMENT (IAA)
within National Fire Management Analysis System (NFMAS) that considers
resource values, predicted fire effects, probable fire and weather
activity, and fire organization alternatives to yield an efficient
fire program. IAA evaluates planned suppression action effectiveness
for a given set of fire occurrence and fire behavior inputs and
calculates resultant Cost Plus Net Value Change (C + NVC) for
each Fire Management Analysis Zone (FMAZ).
||Fuels such as brush,
dead limbs, low-hanging limbs, that allow fire to travel vertically
from ground level into taller fuels.
||A large land area composed
of interacting ecosystems that are repeated due to factors such
as geology, soils, climate, and human impacts. Landscapes
are often used for coarse grain analysis.
||Physical and biological
systems that work together at a moderately large scale (a "landscape"
can encompass most of a major watershed, like the Bitterroot River,
or a subset of that major watershed). Landscape processes determine
patterns of vegetation and stream networks in a watershed. They
include things like fire, insects, and diseases that change vegetation,
vegetative succession, and physical variables like climate (affected
by slope, aspect, and elevation).
||The average time it
takes before photographic evidence of wildlife is obtained from
||A fire that, although
it consumes only surface and understory fuels, kills the overstory
through crown scorch, cambium damage, or both.
generally with a comparatively high surface area-to-volume ratio,
that are less than 1/4-inch in diameter and have a timelag of
one hour or less. These fuels readily ignite and are rapidly consumed
by fire when dry.
||The freshly fallen
or only slightly decomposed plant material on the forest floor.
This layer includes foliage, bark fragments, twigs, flowers, and
||A model that enables
managers to plan activities on a landscape. It develops optimal
schedules for management actions on that landscape, taking into
account the multiple goals and constraints of land management.
||VERY small areas in the environment that may have
special characteristics different from the general landscape,
such as more moisture.
||A simplified representation
of an aspect of the real world that contains the important features
of real "life" for making predictions.
EFFICIENT LEVEL (MEL)
||The optimum pre-suppression
(preparedness) organization for the planning unit (usually the
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA)
||NEPA is the basic national
law for protection of the environment, passed by Congress in 1969.
It sets policy and procedures for environmental protection, and
authorizes Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments
to be used as analytical tools to help federal managers make decisions.
FIRE MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS SYSTEM (NFMAS)
||Formal process that
provides consistent methods for estimating the effectiveness of
alternative fire programs using an economic efficiency criterion.
||Any event, such as
forest fire or insect infestations, that alters the structure,
composition, or functions of an ecosystem.
VALUE CHANGE (NVC)
||The present value of
a loss in resources or property minus any off-setting benefits
resulting from the effects of wildland fire.
||The upper canopy layer;
the plants below comprise the understory.
| PARTICULATE MATTER
||A complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particulate matter may be in the form of fly ash, soot, dust, fumes, etc. Small particulate matter, or PM-10,
is less than 10 microns in size and can pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs.
||A voluntary, mutually
beneficial and desired relationship entered into by two or more
person(s) or group(s) to accomplish mutual objectives.
| PEER REVIEW
||A publication is considered peer reviewed
if it has been reviewed independently and approved by other experts in the author's field before it is published.
of fire to wildland fuels in either their natural or modified
state, under specified environmental conditions, that allows the
fire to be confined to a predetermined area, and produces the
fire behavior and fire characteristics required to attain planned
fire treatment and resource management objectives.
||Any fire ignited by
management actions to meet specific objectives. (Previously
defined as a fire ignited under predetermined, known conditions
of fuel, weather, and topography to achieve specific management
||A fire ignited by natural
processes (usually lightning) that is allowed to burn within specified,
predetermined parameters of fuels, weather, and topography to
achieve specific objectives. (Note: This term has been replaced
by "wildland fire use.")
||Activities directed at reducing the incidence of
fires, including public education, law enforcement, personal contact,
and reduction of fuel hazards (fuels management).
||Recommended ways to gather and store data, analyze
data, interpret and sue results, and set consistent definitions
| RESOURCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
||Resource Advisory Committees were formed under the Secure Rural Schools
and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-393)
to improve collaborative relationships and provide advice and recommendations to the land management agencies.
||An underground stem that produces leaves on the
upper side and roots on the lower side.
||Relating to or living
or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or
sometimes of a lake or a tidewater.
||The harvesting of trees
that are dead, dying, or deteriorating (e.g., because they are
over mature or materially damaged by fire, wind, insects, fungi,
or other injurious agencies) before their timber becomes economically
||In ecosystem management,
scale refers to the degree of resolution at which ecosystems are
observed and measured.
WILDLAND FIRE (CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE)
||Fire that burns more
intensely than the natural or historical range of variability,
thereby fundamentally changing the ecosystem, destroying communities
and/ or rare or threatened species/ habitat, or causing unacceptable
||A model that simulates
likely patterns of vegetation change over time resulting from
various disturbance processes such as insect infestation and wildfire--
with or without fire suppression and management activities.
||Debris left after logging,
pruning, thinning, or brush cutting; includes logs, chips, bark,
branches, stumps, and broken understory trees or brush.
| SLASH BUNDLER
||A relatively new piece of equipment developed in
Scandinavia that collects and bundles forest residue in the forest
for utilization in biomass burning industry.
||A standing dead tree
or part of a dead tree from which at least the smaller branches
||The acronym stands for SNOw TELemetry.
A SNOTEL site is an automated station that collects information on snowpack and climate.
SNOTEL data includes snow water content, precipitation, temperature, and sometimes other climate data such as snow depth,
humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and solar radiation.
Anyone with internet access can get readouts from SNOTEL sites at http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snotel/.
| SOIL PRODUCTIVITY
||The inherent capacity of a soil to support the growth of specified plants,
plant communities, or a sequence of plant communities. Soil productivity may be expressed in terms
of volume or weight/unit/year, percent plant cover, or other measures of biomass accumulation.
| SPATIAL DATA
||An electronic map of environmental or demographic
||A computer model—for example, SIMPPLLE—of
landscape processes that includes spatially explicit data.
||A computer model—for example, MAGIS—that
uses mathematical optimization to find the ‘best’
solution based on objectives entered by the user and quantities
calculated by the model (these quantities could include vegetation
parameters, economics, and resource benefits).
||The FY-1999 Appropriations
Bill (Section 347) authorized the Forest Service to enter into
28 service contracts to achieve land management goals for national
forests that meet local and rural community needs. These contracts
focus on post-treatment conditions of forest resources rather
than commodity outputs. Generally, the contracts differ from conventional
timber contracts in four ways: 1) they will be awarded based on
best-value to the government instead of the high bid, 2) value
of timber and other forest products removed may be applied to
offset the cost of services provided, 3) value of services received
and resources provided are not considered in calculating the 25%
Fund payments to states, and 4) the Forest Service shall establish
a multiparty monitoring and evaluation process that assesses each
stewardship contract. For FY-2001, Congress authorized 28 additional
||How the parts of ecosystems
are arranged, both horizontally and vertically. Structure might
reveal a pattern, or mosaic, or total randomness of vegetation.
||All the work of extinguishing
or confining a fire beginning with its discovery.
||A fire burning in ground
surface fuels without significant involvement of the understory
or overstory, with flame lengths usually below 1 meter.
||Loose surface litter
on the soil surface, normally consisting of fallen leaves or needles,
twigs, bark, cones, and small branches that have not yet decayed
enough to lose their identity; also grasses, forbs, low and medium
shrubs, tree seedlings, heavier branchwood, downed logs, and stumps
interspersed with or partially replacing the litter.
||The ability of an ecosystem
to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity,
and productivity over time.
||Cover used by animals
against weather. For elk, thermal cover can be found in a
stand of coniferous trees at least 40 feet tall with a crown closure
of at least 70 percent.
||A cultural treatment
made to reduce stand density of trees primarily to improve growth,
enhance forest health, recover potential mortality, or reduce
the probability of active crown fires. Thinning from above particularly
favors the most promising and not necessarily the dominant stems
with due regard to even distribution over the stand by removing
from any canopy class those trees that are interfering with them.
Also called high thinning or crown thinning. Thinning from below
favors dominants, or in the heavier thinning grades selected dominants,
more or less evenly distributed over the stand by removing a varying
proportion of other trees. Thinning from below includes mechanical
cutting of the small tree strata within a stand to reduce competition,
direct species dominance, reduce potential insect and disease
problems, and reduce the potential for crown fire.
||Aluminum sheets that
are used at bait stations to obtain prints (tracks) of target
species such as forest carnivores.
||A trajectory is a path that a moving object follows.
In forest ecology terms, it is the developmental pathway of the forest ecosystem over time.
||A straight line of
a given length containing study points located at specified distances.
||A fire that consumes
surface fuels but not trees or shrubs (See Surface Fuels).
||The layer formed by
the crowns of smaller vegetation in a forest.
||A fire burning in a
layer formed by the crowns of smaller vegetation in a forest,
which is typically more intense than a surface fire and has flame
lengths of 1 to 3 meters.
||Vegetation type, density,
size, and structural classes.
| V - MAP
||A project to map current vegetation west of the
Continental Divide in the Forest Service's Northern Region and designed to address several needs.
The result of this project is a geo-spatial database that produces four primary map products:
Dominance Type, Tree Canopy Cover Class, Life Form, and Tree Diameter Class.
||The entire region drained
by a waterway (or into a lake or reservoir). More specifically,
a watershed is an area of land above a given point on a stream
that contributes water to the streamflow at that point.
| WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE
||Considering all available research and weighing its relevance
and reliability in an integrated manner.
||A method of harvesting trees by cutting and moving
the entire tree to a “landing” where its branches
and tops are removed in preparation for transport.
||A fire of either natural
or human ignition, not meeting land management objectives, and
requiring suppression. (Note: Recently, the use of
the term "wildfire" has been discontinued. Its
replacement term is "wildland fire.")
||Any nonstructure fire,
other than prescribed fire, that occurs in the wildland.
This term encompasses fires previously called both wildfires and
prescribed natural fires.
FIRE SITUATION ANALYSIS (WFSA) (OR ESCAPED FIRE SITUATION ANALYSIS)
||A decision-making process
that evaluates alternative suppression strategies against selected
environmental, social, political, and economic criteria. Provides
a record of decisions.
||The management of naturally
ignited wildland fires to accomplish specific pre-stated resource
objectives in predefined geographic areas outlined in fire management
||The line, area, or
zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle
with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels.