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Landscape Assessment Methods

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Title: Landscape Assessment Methods


1
Landscape Assessment Methods
  • National Interagency Fuels Technology Team

2
Lesson Objectives
  • Integrated assessment process to achieve national
    and local objectives
  • Integration of measures of fuels fire behavior,
    Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC), other
    values
  • Strategies steps for Strategic Prioritization
    Of Treatments (SPOT)
  • LANDFIRE status applications

3
Common National Objectives
  • reduce large fire threat and cost
  • reduce risk to the wildland urban interface
  • conserve heritage resources
  • improve forest rangeland health
    (sustainability)
  • conserve native species improve habitats
  • reduce risks to air watersheds

4
Socio-ecological Landscapes
Ability to achieve these diverse
objectives is dependent on understanding and
managing multiple interacting regimes
Landscape management is about understanding
relationships between human land use and
environment across various scales of land and
different periods of time.
5
Socio-ecological Landscapes
Landscape management is about understanding
relationships between human land use and
environment across various scales of land and
different periods of time.
6
reduce large fire threat cost
  • Healthy Forest Restoration Act
  • National Fire Plan
  • Cohesive Strategies for USDA Interior
  • GAO Reports
  • ..

7
reduce large fire threat cost
Projected
8
Recent Fire Seasons (Entire U.S.)
  • 2000 8.5 million acres 1.3 billion
  • 2001 3.5 million acres 0.9 billion
  • 2002 7.0 million acres 1.6 billion
  • 2003 5.0 million acres 1.3 billion
  • 2004 7.7 million acres 0.9 billion

9
reduce risk to wildland urban interface (WUI)
  • Adjacent wildland fuels
  • Defensible space
  • Prevention of unwanted fires
  • ..

10
Shifting Demographics
11
conserve heritage resources
  • Use of fire in past land use
  • Past uses of native plants
  • Manage fire use to conserve heritage resources
  • Risk to heritage resources from uncharacteristic
    fuels fire
  • Antiquities Act
  • Historic Preservation Act

12
conserve heritage resources
13
Why?
forest rangeland health (sustainability)
  • Healthy Forest Restoration Act
  • Other Land and Resource Management Laws
  • Sustainability sustain the productivity
    diversity of management options values
  • Healthy Forests Rangelands resilient to
    disturbance
  • Characteristic Conditions Disturbances within
    the range of species adaptations
  • Fire Regime Condition Class 1 one relatively
    coarse measure

14
How?
  • Representing natural, native systems by using HRV
  • As a baseline reference, not as
  • a management goal
  • Where possible, manage within HRV
  • composition mimic disturbance effects
  • Provides best fit for sustainability and
  • coarse-filter conservation

15
Representing natural, native habitats
disturbances
  • through use of
  • management
  • tools

16
Healthy Forest Rangelands
fire use
prescribed fire
suppression strategies
other resource activities
17
Measured By
  • Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC)

18
conserving native species habitats
  • keeping all the pieces
  • Value of fish, wildlife, and plants to people
  • Coarse-filter conservation of characteristic
    kinds, amounts, and patterns of habitats
  • Endangered Species Act
  • ..

19
(No Transcript)
20
Wildlife Behavior -Displacement -Habituation -Mig
ration -Corridor Use
Mortality -Hunting -Roads/Railway -Habituated
Individuals
Fire Use/ Suppression
21
conserving native species habitats
  • Similar terms and concepts between native species
    conservation and healthy forests rangelands
  • Many times there appears to be conflict
  • Most conflict appears to be perceived
    (philosophical) as opposed to real
  • Most conflicts can be resolved with spatial and
    temporal options

22
reduce risks to air watersheds
  • Smoke is often seen as a limiting issue
  • Most concerns with fire use smoke can be resolved
    with spatial and temporal options
  • Inevitability of wildfire with high volumes of
    smoke at vulnerable times is apparent
  • Coarse-filter for soil conservation
  • Soils developed in sync with characteristic
    conditions disturbance regime
  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • .

23
Uncharacteristic Fire Behavior - Hayman Fire 2002
Historical Landscape
24
reduce risks to air watersheds
25
Assessment Measures
  • Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC)
  • Forest Rangeland Health (Sustainability)
  • Coarse-filter measure of native habitats
  • Correlated measure of watershed
  • Fuels Fire Behavior Assessment
  • Currently may or may not be assessed
  • FRCC often used as a proxy
  • Many other measures ..

26
Why?
Fuels Fire Behavior Assessment
  • Direct hazard of large fire threat
  • Direct hazard to WUI
  • Hazard or benefit to resource values
  • Measure of fire use opportunity
  • Different measure/scale than FRCC

27
Carl Skinner, PSW
28
  • Key factors in treatment design
  • Fire behavior objectives scaled stick to stick
  • Protection assets (both social resource) that
    are mobile are less constraining than assets that
    are fixed in place
  • FRCC objectives scaled to composition of
    shifting mosaic within the landscape

29
Stylized Landscape Treatment Patterns
  • Very effective at
  • slowing fire from
  • single direction
  • Impractical on
  • real landscapes
  • Insensitive to
  • resources
  • constraints
  • Ineffective at
  • slowing fire from
  • any direction
  • Flexible for variable
  • landscapes and
  • constraints
  • Effective at slowing
  • fire spread from
  • multiple directions
  • Flexible for variable
  • landscapes and
  • constraints

30
Absolute Fire Behavior Class
31
Why?
  • Integrate
  • Strategize
  • Prioritize

32
Being Strategic
  • Science Art of ..
  • employing the timing and location ..
  • of tactical resources ..
  • based on intelligence data predictions ..
  • to maximize support to ..
  • achieve integrated collaborative objectives ..
  • under advantageous conditions.

Achieving objectives Success
33
Strategic Planning
  • When do you need a strategy?
  • When dealing with more than one factor where want
    to change condition/outcome
  • When dealing with one or more factors that have
    uncontrollable outcomes

34
Strategic Principles
  • Success depends on
  • Accounting for interaction of factors
  • Scale temporal/space tactic effectively
  • Decisiveness in deploying tactics w/in time to
    achieve spatial outcome
  • Availability/effectiveness of tactical resources

35
Evaluating Strategies
36
Evaluating Strategies
37
  • Integrate
  • Strategize
  • Prioritize

What do these mean in an assessment environment?
38
Being Strategic
  • Principle - account for factor interaction
  • Identify integrated/collaborative objectives
  • Integrated
  • to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning
    or unified whole
  • to end the segregation of and bring into equal
    membership
  • To incorporate into a larger unit (national
    policies, budget, L/R Mgt Plans)

39
Integrate Collaborate
  • to work jointly with others in an endeavor

Why?
  • Increase tactical resources
  • Maximize support
  • Increase advantageous position

40
Integration Scales, Components, Landscape
Strategies
  • Scale of component integration
  • Components
  • Landscape strategies for integration
  • Stepwise process for assessment

41
Scale Differences Flexibility
  • Improving condition (FRCC) gt 5 x large fire
    scale gt 20 x urban interface scale gt 20 x
    resource conflicts scale

---------- FRCC Scale ------------
Resource conflicts lt 1/20th FRCC
Interface scale lt 1/20th FRCC
Large fire scale lt 1/5th FRCC
42
(No Transcript)
43
Traditional landscape vegetation management
strategies Strategy 1 Vegetation treatments
to achieve resource objectives with aggressive
suppression to reduce wildfire hazard to assets
traditional commodity forest and rangeland
management Strategy 2 - No fuel or vegetation
treatment with aggressive suppression to reduce
wildfire hazard to assets traditional reserve
forest and rangeland management Strategy 3
Fuel breaks to slow wildfire spread with
aggressive suppression to reduce wildfire hazard
to assets traditional fuel management to stop
wildfire spread
44
Landscape strategies for fuel treatment Strategy
4 Placement of fuel treatments to reduce
landscape wildfire hazards, protect assets,
improve landscape conditions Strategy 5 Fuel
treatments to maximize options for wildland fire
use, protect assets, improve landscape
conditions Strategy 6 Restore landscape
conditions reduce wildfire hazard to
assets Strategy 7 Protect assets with
treatments that reduce hazard to assets improve
conditions within those treatments
45
Strategies that can achieve national fuels
objectives
46
(No Transcript)
47
Tools for achieving strategic prioritization
48
  • Integrate
  • Strategize
  • Prioritize

What assessment processes tools?
LANDFIRE National data Rapid Assessment
data Local data
49
LANDFIRE
  • LANDFIRE
  • National
  • Western US 2006
  • Eastern US 2008
  • Alaska Hawaii 2009
  • Rapid Assessment 2005-2006

50
LANDFIRE
National
Complete Lower 48
51
  • LANDFIRE -National Current Status
  • Strengths
  • Consistency, repeatable methods, framework
  • Existing vegetation, environmental site potential
  • Fuel characteristics calibration from workshops
    and re-release in 4/06 for the west
  • Will be updated testing development
  • BPS SC methods improvement estimated
    re-release underway
  • Weaknesses
  • Biophysical setting (BPS) doesnt represent
    historical vegetation regime in rangelands as
    expected
  • Successional Class (SC) doesnt portray
    uncharacteristic (invasives) in rangelands as
    expected

52
RESULTS FRCC Mapping Tool with LANDFIRE National
Data as Inputs
53
ISSUES ENCOUNTERED
  • Difference between LANDFIRE National and Rapid
    Assessment results due to differences in mapped
    veg
  • RA mapped sagebrush PNVG where LANDFIRE mapped
    pinyon/juniper BpS
  • RA captured cheatgrass invasion as
    uncharacteristic

54
LANDFIRE National
Rapid Assessment
Green Sagebrush PNVG/BpS Brown Pinyon/Juniper
PNVG/BpS
55
Uncharacteristic
LANDFIRE National Sclasses
Rapid Assessment Sclasses
56
Current Data Revisions
  • Biophysical Settings (BpS) layer
  • Succession Class (SClass) layer
  • Zones 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 28
  • All other zones OK
  • Available 02/01/2007

57
Affected Zones for Biophysical Settings and
Succession Class layers
58
  • LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Current Status
  • Strengths
  • Expert opinion data framework
  • Existing vegetation, Potential Natural Vegetation
    captures expected historical vegetation regime
  • Succession Class captures uncharacteristic
    invasives
  • Weaknesses
  • Not easily repeatable will not be updated or
    corrected
  • Lack of resolution on existing structure data
  • No fuels characteristics
  • No biophysical modeling

59
NIFTT Tools
  • Fire Behavior Assessment Tool (FBAT)
  • At middle of beta-test fairly user friendly
  • Fire Regime Condition Class Map Tool
  • At end of beta-test fairly user friendly
  • Multi-scale Resource Integration Tool (MRIT)
  • At end of beta-test needs 9.0 9.1
    customization
  • Area Change Tool (ACT)
  • Just starting beta-test somewhat user friendly

60
RESULTS RA FRCC
61
RESULTS FRCC Mapping Tool with RA Data as Inputs
62
Subsection Delineation
RA CC 3 MT CC 2
63
ISSUES ENCOUNTERED
  • Difference between RA FRCC and Map Tool Results
    because of disected subsections
  • Limit analysis area in Map Tool to complete
    Reporting Units (i.e., subsections/HUCs)
  • Restrict FRCC calculations in Map Tool to minimum
    dynamic area for individual PNVGs. Expert
    feedback LF HRV analysis
  • Develop one-page fact sheet on how scale affects
    FRCC calculations

64
LANDFIRE when to use not use?
  • LANDFIRE National national, region/state,
    subregional
  • Subregional for example prioritize identify
    options for District, Field Office, Park, and
    Monument annual program of work integrated IA
    LMP or FMP roll-up
  • Project for example NEPA, burn plan, etc.
  • If no other data provides starting point for
    project or incident management integrate as much
    local data/knowledge as possible

65
LANDFIRE when to use not use?
  • LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment national,
    region/state
  • Region/State for example prioritization,
    identify options for annual program of work for
    LMP/FMP
  • Subregional
  • If no other data then provides starting point
  • Project for example NEPA, burn plan, etc.
  • If no other data provides starting point

66
Integrate, Strategize, Prioritize
  • Analysis Steps
  • Delineation
  • Protection
  • Disturbance
  • Treatment
  • Assess
  • Report
  • Monitor/Adapt
  • Landscape Strategies
  • Fuel Breaks
  • Large Fire Threat
  • Wildland Fire Use
  • Landscape Restoration
  • Protect Assets

67
Objectives
  • Integrated assessment process to achieve national
    and local objectives
  • Integration of measures of fuels fire behavior,
    fire regime condition class (FRCC), other
    values
  • Strategies steps for Strategic Prioritization
    Of Treatments (SPOT)
  • LANDFIRE status applications

68
Common Questions
  • Strategic Prioritization Of Treatments -
    Components
  • Landscape assessment of conditions
  • Strategic treatment options for multiple
    objectives
  • Problem fire analysis
  • Fire weather
  • Fire occurrence
  • Integration of LANDFIRE with local data
  • Futuring longevity of treatments outcomes
  • Integration with resource, social, economic
    value modeling
  • .

69
This Course Fuels Assessment
  • What does it provide?
  • Landscape assessment of conditions
  • KISS strategic prioritization of treatment
    assessment
  • Some uses of LANDFIRE data
  • Examples of integration with local data (WUI,
    etc.)
  • Examples of integration with value assessment
    (WUI)
  • What does it not provide?
  • Problem fire analysis S493 FARSITE
  • Fire weather/occurrence S491/492 NFDRS
    Long-term risk assessment
  • Futuring FVS-FFE, VDDT/TELSA, LANDSUM, INFORMS,
    etc.
  • 1 stop shopping
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