USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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.
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The McCash Fire burns into areas that recently burned (brown areas) and areas that had burned in previous wildfires in the Klamath Mountains.

A recent Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) and Penn State study examined the role of previous fires in predicting and reducing the severity of future wildfires in the western United States.

Fire personnel on the Six Rivers National Forest in California conducting a prescribed cultural burn on a strategic ridge along a road to improve opportunities for future wildland fire response and Tribal gathering access. U.S. Forest Service photo by Frank Lake.

This recent journal article discusses various approaches in working with American Indians through research and management partnerships in the fields of wildland fire, forestry, and fuels.

Tree mortality following a bark beetle outbreak in the Sierra Nevada in California. U.S. Forest Service photo by C. Fettig.

Native bark beetles and wildfires are important disturbances in western coniferous forests. This journal article describes the current state of knowledge of effects on wildfire behavior and severity.

Photo of Connie Millar.

PSW research scientist Dr. Constance "Connie" Millar has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A mangrove forest in the nation of Palau. U.S. Forest Service photo.

A recent USDA Blog post highlights efforts by Pacific Southwest Research Station's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry to study, restore and preserve mangrove forests.

Science that makes a difference.

The Pacific Southwest Research Station is a world leader in natural resources research through our scientific excellence and responsiveness to the needs of current and future generations.

We represent the research and development branch of the USDA Forest Service in the states of California and Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. Our mission is to develop and communicate science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and their benefits to society.

Science Focus: Restoration of landscapes
Cover image for the PSW Partners In Science Publication
Postfire conditions in sagebrush steppe and Jeffrey pine forest after the 2016 Owens River Fire (center background). The foreground displays recovering sagebrush steppe outside the 2016 Owens River Fire perimeter that was burned in a 1993 wildfire, about 24 years prior. (U.S. Forest Service/Marc Meyer)
Post-fire Restoration Framework for California's National Forests

Postfire management on national forests in California often relies on a set of conventional and tactical approaches that may not address the diverse challenges and issues associated with large, severe wildfires and other interacting stressors. However, our latest general technical report proposes a new framework to help guide postfire management efforts on California's national forests, using ecological restoration principles and current agency policy direction as the basis for landscape-scale analysis, evaluation, and project planning.

The authors describe a set of ecological restoration principles, a landscape assessment process, and a framework for decision-making to plan and implement restoration projects. The postfire restoration framework is rooted in six science-based guiding principles, including: (1) restore key ecological processes, (2) consider landscape context, (3) promote regional native biodiversity, (4) sustain diverse ecosystem services, (5) establish a prioritization approach for management interventions, and (6) incorporate adaptation to agents of change, including climate change. These guiding principles set the stage for the development of postfire restoration efforts on national forests.

[image-text]: Recent Publications
Cover image psw-gtr-267
Innovative strategies to reduce the costs of effective wildlife overpasses

Wildlife crossing structures have been one of the most effective means of reducing animal-vehicle collisions. Yet widespread implementation has been hindered by perceived and actual expense.

Cover image psw-gtr-269
Natural range of variation for red fir and subalpine forests in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon

Future climate and wildfire projections indicate an extension of the fire season and an increase in fire size and severity in these forest types.

Cover image psw-gtr-270
Postfire restoration framework for national forests in California

This report presents a framework to guide the development of postfire restoration on national forests in California. We discuss the application of this approach to California’s forest, chaparral, and sagebrush-steppe ecosystems.