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Collaboration makes fire science available and useful to land managers

Photo of The image is an example of canopy gap delineation. On the right is the post-burn, leaf-on imagery from the USDA National Agricultural Imagery Program used to identify the canopy gaps created by prescribed fire. Gap boundaries also superimposed on pre-burn imagery on the left side of the image. The image is an example of canopy gap delineation. On the right is the post-burn, leaf-on imagery from the USDA National Agricultural Imagery Program used to identify the canopy gaps created by prescribed fire. Gap boundaries also superimposed on pre-burn imagery on the left side of the image. Snapshot : Forest Service researchers and foresters are partnering to document the effects of landscape-scale prescribed fire on the George Washington and Jefferson national forests.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1243

Summary

A Forest Service scientist at the agency’s Northern Research Station is among the collaborators participating in the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists with the aim of providing fire science to forest managers in useful forms and promoting communication among scientists and managers. Work by Northern Research Station’s scientists on the role of fire in eastern forests is used by the Monongahela National Forest for the location of prescribed fire units. Evidence of fire in some eastern forests is found in the mix of tree species described in the earliest land surveys and fire-adapted vegetation maps produced from these records has been used to help delineate ecological units on several national forests. Without this disturbance agent, eastern forests risk species composition changes that may be unacceptable based on wildlife habitat and timber values. Research, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy in Virginia, is documenting and publishing the effects of landscape-scale prescribed fire on the George Washington and Jefferson national forests. Monitoring data, including aerial imagery for canopy gap creation after fire, were used to determine if prescribed fire had created the desired forest canopy conditions outlined in the forest plan. This work has been submitted for publication as s Forest Service Northern Research Station general technical report, and the data will also be used to model the probability of canopy gap formation after landscape-scale prescribed fire.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • The Nature Conservancy, Virginia