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NAFSE January 2016 Newsletter
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In this month's Newsletter:
Recent NAFSE activities: NJ Field Trip RecapNAFSE Workshop presentations
NAFSE's upcoming webinars
NAFSE's Oak Capstone Workshop: Save the date
Canadian Focus: John Ross Q & A
In The News: FAC Network, PA Game Commission Rx fire, NE Regional Cohesive Strategy's New Website, Bob-white quail restoration
Upcoming Events: Conferences, webinars, training courses
Notice To Graduate Students
Undergraduate Funding Opportunities
Sandplain Network Survey
North Atlantic Fire Science Resource Highlight
New Jersey Fire Science and Management Field Trip Recap

NAFSE's first three-day capstone workshop was held at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ November 4-6th, 2015. Dr. George Zimmerman, Professor of Environmental Studies at Stockton University, graciously hosted us and Amanda Mahaffey of the NAFSE leadership team and the Forest Stewards Guild, organized the event. November 4th dawned with 50 attendees munching on muffins, ready for a gorgeous day in the field. We hopped in several large vans to observe different field sites on public and private land.

 

Our first stop was on the Haines family's Pine Island cranberry farm property where we learned that these high value crops needed exceptionally clean water.  The Haines family has long understood the importance of caring for the forest around their farms for water quality, but they also need to regularly reduce fuels in case of large wildfires near their fields. Brian Kieffer, of Pine Creek Forestry, LLC, (owned by Bob Williams who could not attend as he was receiving an award for communications from the Society of American Foresters), explained the history of the 15 acre site nestled between the cranberries and the road. The site had undergone selective silvicultural thinning, with a 50% reduction in basal area and slash left behind, and had also undergone prescribed burning approximately 4-5 yrs ago. Pine Creek Forestry bases their silvicultural treatments on the Stoddard-Neel approach which aims to increase species diversity, provide habitat, and promote uneven-age stands using selective logging and prescribed fire. 

And that was just the first stop! Click here to see the rest of the field trip blog with a map, descriptions and photos of the rest of our adventures. 
NJ Fire Science and Management Workshop Presentations
 
Did you miss our November workshop? In addition to our field trips, we had an amazing day of presentations from folks inside and outside of New Jersey bringing a variety of perspectives. 

Click here to access the powerpoint presentations from the speakers and see what you missed.

Register for our next webinar now!
 
Recent Fire Research at the Silas Little Experimental Forest in New Jersey's Pinelands

Presenters: Dr. Ken Clark with Dr. Nick Skowronski and Mike Gallagher
  • February 4th, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern
Register on the event page

Our recent NJ Fire Science and Management workshop highlighted a need to expand upon the current research occurring in the Pinelands. For this webinar, the USDA Forest Service's Dr. Ken Clark, Dr. Nicholas Skowronski, and Michael Gallagher will present recent research at the Silas Little Experimental Forest highlighting 1) heat flux and turbulence measurements in the fire environment, 2) the impact of Southern Pine Beetle and Gypsy moth on hazardous fuel loads and fire danger, and 3) validation of remote sensing methods to evaluate fire severity and tree mortality in Pinelands forests. 

Don't miss this informative presentation and discussion!

To see past webinar recordings, visit our webpage.

      
 Photo by Nick Skowronski

NEW! Save the date for our March Landfire webinar
The Biophysical Settings and Historic Fire Regimes of the North Atlantic 

Presenter: Randy Swaty, The Nature Conservancy - LANDFIRE team
  • March 16th, 2016 12PM ET  
Save the Date: NAFSE's Oak Capstone Workshop

Fire in Oak Workshop Regional Differences, Local Applicability
June 15th-16th, 2016 Westborough, MA

Don't miss this great opportunity to learn from managers and scientists about Fire and Oak issues in the North Atlantic region. How does our region differ from other oak habitats? How is it the same? What is the latest research on the topic and how can it be applied on the ground? What are some manager needs in the oak-fire science world? We hope to answer all of these questions and more next June in Westborough, MA at the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Building. Activities will consist of one full day for our field trip, and a second indoor day with talks and panels. Hope to see you there! More information on registration will be posted here as available. More information on registration will be posted here as available.

             
Photo by Bob Williams
Canadian Focus
 
Q & A with John Ross of Nova Scotia

NAFSE has been focusing on expanding our knowledge across the Canadian areas of our exchange in order to identify universal fire science research and management needs. We asked John Ross, Acting Forest Protection Director for Nova Scotia Natural Resources Department a few questions to help understand similarities and differences in Canadian and U.S. approaches to fire management. 

                       

How is your ecosystem different or the same than Northern New England in fire history and fire-adapted traits of plants and trees?
 
I would think that our ecosystem would be very similar to Northern New England.  Fire has been a disturbance agent in the forests of Nova Scotia since the last glaciation and a dominant disturbance since European settlement.  The barrens of southwestern Nova Scotia are considered to be a product of frequent fires, many of them human caused.  Also, throughout Nova Scotia there is a presence of fire origin species such as jack, red and white pine, red maple, white birch, and red oak.

In addition to ecosystems, there are other similarities between Nova Scotia and Northern New England with regard to land ownership (mostly private ownership), population densities, WUI and weather patterns.  We are faced with similar challenges when it comes to managing fire.

What is the main source of wildfire in your region and how many acres burn on average per year from wildfires?
 
Our fires are 98% human caused and 2% lightning caused.  On average we would get about 350 fires per year with a total area burned between 800-1000 hectares (1970 – 2400 acres).




What are the main models you use to understand fire behavior?
 
We use the Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) model for predicting fire behavior.  The Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System provides a systematic method of assessing fire behavior. The FBP System has 14 primary inputs that can be divided into 5 general categories: fuels, weather, topography, foliar moisture content, and type and duration of prediction. In the FBP System these inputs are used to mathematically develop 4 primary and 11 secondary outputs. Primary outputs are generally based on a fire intensity equation, and secondary outputs are calculated using a simple elliptical fire growth model.
 
There are 2 software programs that we use for the FPB system:  Behave (by Remsoft) and REDapp (developed by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre) http://redapp.org/get-redapp

Are your fuel types effective for your region when modeling?
 
The FBP system was developed more for the types of forests that are common to the provinces west of Quebec and not so much for the Acadian Forest Region which is what we have in Nova Scotia.  The model does work well for some fuel types (such as open softwoods) and not so well for other types forest (such as mixed woods).

How much prescribed fire do you accomplish on average per year in your region?
 
Our agency currently does not do any prescribed burning.  However, we are hoping to begin in the next few years.  The prescribed burns would be done for both ecological restoration and fuels reduction.  Our biggest challenge is to properly educate the public on the benefits of prescribed burning.  It is also important that we can demonstrate prescribed burning can be done safely.
 
We have been working with the folks at Parks Canada and their prescribed burning program.  We have assisted with prescribed burns at Kejimkujik National Park (for red oak restoration) and Cape Breton Highlands National Park (for fire behavior research on barren lands).
 
To what extent is silviculture used in combination with prescribed fire in your region?
 
To date, we have not done any prescribed burning in combination with silviculture.  Perhaps we may do some in the future, but we need to gain a better understanding of benefits.

Thanks so much to John for taking the time to answer these questions to help us better understand the situation in Canada.

In the News:
FAC Network blog on the NAFSE workshop
Wildfire Mitigation and Assistance for Agricultural lands through NRCS
PA Game Commission Rx fire and deer
NE Regional Cohesive Strategy's New Website
Bob-white quail restoration video
Habitat restoration with Rx fire in South Carolina
Upcoming Events

Conferences of interest: 
Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact: 2016 WINTER TRAINING/AWARENESS MEETING
Portland, ME Jan 28-29th, 2016

Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
State College, PA Feb 16 - 17,  2016

Burning Issues III Symposium: How do we integrate competing wildland fire objectives in land management and restoration?
Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, MI Feb 2-3, 2016 
              

 















5th International Fire behavior and fuels conference 
Portland, OR Early Registration Deadline: Feb 12th, 2016

2016 WUI Conference
Reno, NV March 8-10

Other Webinars: 
Canadian Institute of Forestry (IFC) Electronic Lecture
Using Projected Fire Regime and Growth Rates to Evaluate the Vulnerability of Current Harvest Rates to Climate Change 
Feb 3rd, 1:30PM Eastern

Training Opportunities:
Northeast Forest Fire Protection Compact: Wildland Fire Academy
February 22-26, 2016 -  South Portland, ME
Nominations due Jan 20th, 2016

Eastern Area Opportunities
Notice to graduate students
 
Calling all graduate students! Are you a graduate student studying some aspect of fire science focusing in the North Atlantic region? Would you like to meet other graduate students doing the same? If you are interested in being part of a network of NAFSE graduate students —send an email to Erin Lane edlane@fs.fed.us to get looped in. 
Undergraduate Funding Sources
 
A great new resource has just been released by FireScience.org: the Fire and Forestry Scholarships and Financial Aid guidebook.

This guide was created to let students know what resources are available for them in pursuing their education. Some of the highlights from this guide include:
*    Fire science scholarships
*    Where to find grants and loans
*    Benefits of pursuing degrees in fire science
                       Fire and Forestry Scholarships and Financial Aid banner.

Survey for sandplain grassland network

Jen Karberg (Nantucket Conservation Foundation), Sarah Bois (Linda Loring Nature Foundation), and Karen Lombard (The Nature Conservancy) are in the beginning stages of pulling together a sandplain grassland network with the following goals:

  • Sharing and summarizing existing knowledge of sandplain grassland management and research into guidelines for creating and managing sandplain grasslands and heathlands.​
  • Identifying existing research needs for sandplain grasslands and heathlands to facilitate collaborative research.

Please fill out the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3WVX5K7  to indicate your level of interest and how you see yourself participating in this project. The first page of the survey gives more information on the network and our plans. 
 
Please feel free to forward this survey to others who may be interested. 

One Fire Day        

We are searching for folks to contribute short stories about fires that stand out in their memories. Email inga.lapuma@rutgers.edu to share your story!
Fire Science Resource Highlights

Each newsletter we will highlight useful resources with applications to the North Atlantic Region.

Fire Frequency Tool (for use with ArcGIS) 
Prescribed fire is used widely to mitigate wildfires and restore ecosystems. This tool was developed to evaluate fire’s cumulative impact, calculate frequency, examine seasonality and estimate fuel accumulation to facilitate decision making in targeting successive prescribed fire application. Thanks to the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists for highlighting this tool. 
 

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation Activities in the Wildland-Urban Interface 
This report from the Forest Stewards Guild in cooperation with the Joint Fire Science Program synthesizes the lessons learned from WUI mitigation in New Mexico. Much of this information applies to all WUI areas.

NAFSE Leadership Team
 

USFS Northern Research Station
Nicholas Skowronski - PI
Erin Lane - Coordinator
Forest Stewards Guild
Amanda Mahaffey - Workshop and Field Trip Coordinator
NFFPC / Rutgers University
Inga La Puma - Co-PI/ Science Communications Director

NAFSE Community Representatives

Gregory Nowacki, USFS
Kenneth Clark, USFS
Thomas Parent, NEFFPC
Maris Gabliks, USFS
John Ross, CIFFC

Tom Gerber, NJFFS
John Cecil, NJ Audubon
Brad Simpkins, NHDFL
Neil Gifford, APBPC
Jessica Leahy, U of ME
Lauren Howard, Arcadia U.
Joel Carlson, NEFFM, LLC.
William Patterson, III., UMass
Matthew Duveneck, Harvard Forest
 





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