TEAMS conducted a rapid assessment of forestwide damage from mountain pine beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, and spruce budworm outbreaks that have been increasing over the last several years. Out of 3.3 million acres of National Forest System lands, about half have been affected by the outbreak.
TEAMS provided a team to investigate ground conditions, predict the outcome of the outbreaks, and recommend management opportunities to address the situation. The nine-person team (and support staff) included specialists who evaluated fisheries, soils, hydrology, forest vegetation, wildlife, fuels, and forest infrastructure (roads, trails, and permanent structures).
In 12 individual reports focusing on Forest Plan landscapes, the team recommended 2,500 units of fire and mechanical treatments totaling 350,000 acres to help achieve Forest Plan desired conditions. Other products included a report of modeled effects of the outbreak and suggested treatments on habitats of nine important wildlife species, a fire probability and threat report, and a forestwide LANDFIRE database.
The Black Hills National Forest engaged TEAMS Enterprise Unit to complete heritage surveys required on 200 linear miles of travel routes in support of the forestwide motorized travel
TEAMS supplied a heritage crew to conduct field surveys, and a supervisory archaeologist to prepare the Section 106 report. Field surveys began in September 2008, but snow ended the field season early.
TEAMS continued survey work in spring 2009 as the snowline receded, and as a result, the Forest was able to accomplish travel management analysis without impacts to other Forest
Region 3 hired TEAMS Enterprise to provide economic specialist support to forest plan revisions for each forest across the region. TEAMS’ economists assessed the economic environment of each forest, including an analysis of the economic contribution each forest makes to their respective surrounding communities.
They were available for phone calls about the project from the community, and prepared process papers for use by the Forest to answer questions. They also prepared current and future demand analyses for recreation, grazing, minerals, and timber for the Kaibab, Coronado, Apache-Sitgreaves, Prescott, and Coconino National Forests, as well as the Cibola National Grasslands.
TEAMS Enterprise assisted with the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area Fuels Reduction Project. TEAMS provided resource specialists to complete the environmental analysis in 2007 and field operations crews to complete layout and marking of the treatment units following the decision. Among the challenges crews faced were effectiveness of removal methods, conflicting desires of the many private homeowners, and unmarked property boundaries that required a forest boundary survey.
TEAMS crews are collecting cost data, reviewing design criteria application, and testing contract administration objectives. TEAMS personnel are using the knowledge gained from the four contracts to assemble multiple contracts to complete fuels removal on all of the final units.
Spring Mountain National Recreation Area
TEAMS Enterprise conducted scenery management system (SMS) and recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS) inventories for the Modoc National Forest Plan revision. TEAMS provided a landscape architect, a recreation planner, and a GIS specialist to conduct onsite and GIS analysis of the Forest’s scenic and recreation resources.
Working with Forest staff, TEAMS personnel developed preliminary scenic integrity levels and ROS desired condition information to be used in the Forest Plan revision process.
Region 6 hired TEAMS Enterprise to lead the Region 6 Culvert Passage Effectiveness Monitoring Program during the 2009 field season. This study is one of the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest using electro-fishing with mark-and-recapture methods to evaluate passage through stream-simulated road crossings.
Results will determine how well stream crossing structures emulate the stream and to find out if aquatic organism passage is achieved. Results from the monitoring were presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society’s Oregon Chapter in February 2010. Region 6 has extended the funding for an additional year due to the success of the monitoring efforts to date.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
The Allegheny National Forest hired TEAMS Enterprise to provide wildlife biologist support to collect data and review 186 proposed oil and gas developments for the Allegheny Oil and Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement. Along with the new wells, support facilities (roads, pipelines, and tank batteries) are also proposed.
TEAMS provided field reviews, individual well-package reporting, and stream surveys that served as baseline data for the analysis. Additionally, TEAMS completed wildlife and plant field surveys, assessments of impacts, and project modification and mitigation recommendations.
TEAMS worked with the Forest hydrologist to develop a stream survey protocol and conduct surveys on thirteen stream reaches across nine watersheds. Data collected included:
1) an evaluation of stream reach and channel stability, 2) a State water quality and aquatic habitat assessment, and 3) a bottom substrate assessment.
The crew collected survey data on reference streams as well as affected watersheds, and then summarized and presented it for analysis.
TEAMS completed extensive field data collection, synthesis, and analysis to determine restoration
opportunities and proper functioning condition of streams in the North Kuiu Island and Luck Lake (Thorne Bay) projects.
Project activities included using Region 10’s modified Tier II survey protocol, a methodology that provides consistent, quantitative estimates of habitat parameters necessary to evaluate the condition of a stream relative to basic riparian habitat management objectives. The survey process included
Wolman pebble counts, counting and measuring channel morphology components, counts of total large wood debris, and total key woody debris and cross-section measurements.
TEAMS resource specialists summarized the collected data and compared it to Forest fish habitat standards to define potential stream restoration opportunities. The specialists
were able to meet individual regional standards and guidelines, while providing high quality hydrologic support.
The Washington Office Ecosystem Management Coordination group hired TEAMS to provide statistical methods for characterizing forest users and identifying visitor profiles using National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) data. The National Visitor Use Monitoring Survey is used to estimate visitor use on national forests and provide information for a diverse set of management issues.
Statistical measures applied to NVUM data may help interpret results from previous studies and aid in future analyses. Applying marketing and regional economic research techniques to NVUM data can help identify statistically significant differences among recreationists on National Forest System lands. These methods can also help estimate economic impacts and contributions from local and non-local forest visitors.
The results of this study will help Forest Service personnel better understand the habits and activities of forest users when making forest management decisions.