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February 25, 2016   | 1:30 PM

Managing Wildfire

Goal: Provide information to land managers on the role of fire as an ecological process in sagebrush systems and how to manage wildfire as an ecological process in a changing world.

Background: The role of fire in sagebrush systems has been dramatically oversimplified. Cheatgrass has permanently altered the role of fire in many sagebrush systems while in other sagebrush systems the lack of fire has led to the loss of sagebrush. Managers must understand the role of fire in different sagebrush systems order to apply available tools such as fuel breaks, fuel reduction treatments, and prescribed fire.

Session Lead: Eric Thacker
Utah State University Range Extension Specialist, Wildland Resources Dept., 5230 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-5230; Phone: 435-797-7874;

Speaker Include:

Understanding the Role of Fire in Great Basin Ecosystems
Dr. Eva Strand
, Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences 875 Perimeter Drive MS 1135 University of Idaho Moscow, ID 83844-1135

Dr. Strand is a range ecologist who has studied fire and fire behavior in juniper and sagebrush systems in the intermountain west. Her research interests include: geospatial analysis, remote sensing, landscape, and spatial ecology, rangeland ecology, and fire science.

Fire Patterns in the Range of Greater Sage-Grouse, 1984–2013
Dr. Matthew Brooks
, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Yosemite Field Station, 40298 Junction Dr, Suite A, Oakhurst, CA 93644

Dr. Brooks explains the land management implications of fire area, fire size, fire rotation, and fire season length and timing from 1984 to 2013 across the range of the greater sage-grouse.

Wildfire, Wildlife, and the Wild West — Fire, Climate, and Invasive Grass Impact an Indicator Species by Reshaping Sagebrush Ecosystems Dr. Peter Coates, Research Wildlife Biologist USGS, Dixon Field Station, 800 Business Park Drive, Suite D
Dixon, CA 95620,
Peter has extensive sage-grouse research experience

Dr. Coates is interested in sound science and management practices aimed at restoring wildlife communities and their habitats. He has developed an understanding of how human-caused landscape changes affect communities and aim to identify restoration practices that preserve natural ecological processes.

Exploring Opportunities to Strategically Reduce Fine Fuels and Wildfire Risk with Targeted Livestock Grazing
Mike Pellant
, Great Basin Ecologist, Bureau of Land Management, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise, ID 83709,

Mike is an ecologist for the BLM's Washington Office stationed in Boise, ID. He has led several regional restoration and fuels reduction programs during his 40 year career with BLM. He is now co-leading a team to provide a framework to apply grazing management strategies to reduce fine fuels. This effort is in response to Secretarial Order 3336 and the associated Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy.

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