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.

Analysis of 15 Years of data From the California State Parks Prescribed Fire Effects Monitoring Program

Reading transectPrincipal Investigators:
Alison Stanton, BMP Ecosciences
Bruce Pavlik, BMP Ecosciences

Proposal [pdf]

Final Report [pdf]

Please contact Alison Stanton with questions regarding the report.

Project Summary

Beginning in 1992, monitoring plots based on the guidelines and protocols in the Fire Monitoring Handbook (USDI 1991) were installed in California State Parks (CSP) within the Sierra District.

As of 2006, 10-year post-fire data was available from prescribed burn treatment plots. The long-term goals of the CSP prescribed fire program are to: 1) reintroduce fire as a natural ecological process, 2) change stand composition to favor yellow-pine regeneration, 3) mimic pre-settlement fire regime and stand characteristics, and 4) increase biological diversity.

Short-term goals are to: 1) improve forest health, 2) reduce fire hazard, and 3) increase white fir mortality. The central objective of this study was to analyze the existing Fire Monitoring Handbook dataset to evaluate the effects of prescribed fire treatments on vegetation composition and structure, fuel loading, and potential fire behavior in mixed-conifer stands.

A portion of the monitoring data from three years post-fire has been previously analyzed to evaluate specific short-term effects of prescribed fire (Madeno, 2000). The larger dataset provided the opportunity to investigate longer-term effects. A secondary objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the CSP fire monitoring program and provide recommendations for future monitoring efforts.