Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Northeast Region
Plymouth, MA Fire Dept.
A firefighter from Plymouth, MA, uses a drip torch to ignite grasses in a prescribed fire.    
Resilient Landscapes - Fire-Adapted Communities - Safe and Effective Wildfire Response  
The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) provides executive leadership, coordination, and guidance to carry out the Northeast Regional Action Plan while providing a forum for members to guide strategic direction for fire and land management activities. The NE RSC continues to collaboratively recognize, support, and help with National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy goals and implementation efforts.

NE RSC Chair: Brad Simpkins, New Hampshire State Forester
In This Issue
Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy Key Contacts

New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands

172 Pembroke Road

PO Box 1856

Concord, NH 03302-1856


Terry Gallagher

Technical Working Group Lead

U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region


Maureen Brooks

Communications Working Group Lead

U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area S&PF


Larry Mastic

Coordinator, Northeast Region

Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

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November 2015
WFLC Meets October 6, Agrees to Action 
Posted by Western Cohesive Fire Strategy, October 20, 2015
The Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), the group that provides strategic oversight for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, met on October 6, 2015, to line out actions over the next 18 months under their top four priorities. During the meeting, the group was treated to a presentation by members of the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition and the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network about the value of FACs and the importance of enabling as many of these collaborations as possible to facilitate implementation of the Cohesive Strategy across the Nation. 
The four priorities are:
  • Smoke Management and Air Quality
  • Reducing Risk to Communities
  • Large Landscape Collaboration
  • Environmental Compliance
WFLC agreed to move forward with appropriate action items under each priority area at the national level and tasked the National Strategic Committee with enhancing that movement with the development of task groups as needed. The group also agreed to complete a review of the 2015 fire season response across all partners to identify key themes and potential WFLC engagement points to be addressed.

A group of people are sitting in a meeting room.
WFLC members meet in the historic Penthouse of the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. (Photo: Kate Lighthall)

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Lessons Learned from a Successful Year of Fire Adapted Communities Outreach in Ely, MN 
By Gloria Erickson, Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator, Dovetail Partners, Inc. - Ely, MN
Logo Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network. The morning of our first Firewise Demonstration Day, I wondered, "Is anybody going to show up?" I had learned many lessons from our first Chipper Day the previous year (June 2014). Make sure the landowners want to participate. Just because the CWPP indicates a high-risk area doesn't mean the landowners recognize the risk, or know how, or even want to do anything about it. Get buy-in well before the fire season.

January was when I began.
Air Force, USFS Partnerships Help Balance Mission, Environmental Requirements at Westover
By Jennifer Schneider, AFCEC Public Affairs

A firefighter is using a drip torch to ignite a prescribed fire in Massachusetts.
Brook Wenzel, a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service White Mountain National Forest, uses a drip torch to assist with a prescribed burn at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, last week. The Air Force and U.S. Forest Service joined forces to successfully burn 115 acres of grassland within base property, ensuring safe operation of the installation's aircraft and protection of the rare species that inhabit the grasslands. (Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service, Rachel Johnson)

11/5/2015 - Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas -The Air Force and U.S. Forest Service joined forces last week to successfully burn 115 acres of grassland within base property at Westover Air Reserve Base (ARB), Massachusetts.

Prescribed, or controlled, burns are part of Westover's natural resource management plan, and are used at Air Force installations across the country to maintain healthy ecosystems and prevent catastrophic damage that can occur when grass and wood fuels build up due to fire suppression.

At Westover, the burns help balance safe operation of the installation's C-5 aircraft with protection of some of the rare species that inhabit the grasslands, including upland sandpipers.

"Westover ARB is the largest grassland in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has several rare species, including the upland sandpiper, that use the grassland surrounding the runway," said Stephen Najjar, natural resources planner for the 23rd Space Operations Squadron at New Boston Air Force Station.
Forest Service and  State of Michigan Sign Good Neighbor Authority Agreement
Agreement Will Aid Local Economies
Logos for USDA, Forest Service, and Michigan DNR.
October 28, 2015

Contact: Jane Cliff (U.S. Forest Service), 414-297-3664

Agency: Natural Resources

[Editor's Note: In August 2015, Wisconsin was the first State in the Northeast to enter into a Good Neighbor Authority Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Region. Agreements such as these greatly facilitate the ability to do work that can advance the Cohesive Strategy in the Northeast.]

In a move that will boost collaborative management of Michigan's forest lands, the U.S. Forest Service signed a Good Neighbor Authority master agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The completed master agreement between the Hiawatha, Ottawa, and Huron-Manistee National Forests in Michigan and the DNR is among the first signed Good Neighbor Authority agreements in the country. The master agreement is a broad pact allowing the state to supplement the work being done by Forest Service staff on the national forests. Supplemental project agreements will be signed by each forest in the coming weeks to more specifically identify the nature of the work to be completed in the first year of the master agreement.

"Good Neighbor Authority projects will expand our capacity to achieve forest management outcomes described in the forests' 2006 Land and Resource Management Plans," said U.S. Forest Service Eastern Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson. "I'm excited to have a new tool that allows us to work together in unprecedented ways into the future."
New Report Reveals Wildfire is Not Just a Public Lands Issue
Logo for the American Forest Foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (OCTOBER 21, 2015)  - Amid record drought and a record wildfire season in the West, the
American Forest Foundation  (AFF) today released a new report that reveals private and family landowners offer a solution to helping ensure that clean water in the West is protected from future catastrophic wildfires.

The report, Western Water Threatened by Wildfire: It's Not Just a Public Lands Issue, shows that across 11 Western states, 40 percent, or 13.5 million acres, of the forests and other lands that help protect clean water and that are at a high risk of catastrophic wildfire are private and family-owned.

In addition to revealing this new information, the report also includes findings from a West-wide survey of family landowners that show these landowners want to do the right thing and are motivated to take action that will reduce the risk of wildfire and help protect clean water in their forests. However, what prevents most is the high cost of implementing management actions
The report also includes a series of recommendations to help landowners overcome this obstacle, including increased engagement and outreach to private and family landowners to help provide both financial and technical help, policy solutions that fix how wildfire is budgeted for at the federal level and that encourage cross-boundary action, and increased market opportunities to utilize private sector strategies to reduce costs of management actions.
The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee has a New Web Site!
Northeastern Region Cohesive Wildland Fire Managaement Strategy web site banner, The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee for the Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy has developed a new Web site! This resource is dedicated to serving its members with up-to-date information; current and past newsletters; and links to both national and regional Cohesive Strategy plans, reports, and other key resources Many thanks go to Matt Frank from Dovetail Partners for setting up this site.

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

Training Courses

Fire Training in Michigan from Grand Valley State University
January 8-10 and 15-17, 2016
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings, MI 
Registration Information available November 2015

Conferences and Meetings

January 24-27, 2016 
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Grand Rapids, MI

Burning Issues 3 Symposium: How do we integrate competing fire objectives in land management and restoration?

February 2-3, 2016
A Symposium hosted by the Michigan National Guard, Michigan Prescribed Fire Council, Lake States Fire Science Consortium, and Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium

Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, MI
Registration information available after October 2015
$40 registration fee; lodging and meals separate

There are no new National entries this month.

The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) delivers articles and stories each month that demonstrate the collaborative efforts of agencies, organizations and communities supporting and promoting the three goals of the Cohesive Strategy: Restoring Resilient Landscapes, Creating Fire Adapted Communities and Responding to Wildfire. 


This news update is our primary communication tool with our partners and the public. Looking for more Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy information or past published news update issues? Visit this Web site.


Does your agency, organization, or community have a project or event you'd like to see featured in the NE RSC News Update? 


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