Northeast Region Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy banner with a graphic of the 20 states of the Northeast and Midwest and National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy logo.
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.

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

Chair

Chief Fire Warden

Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation

 

Larry Mastic

Coordinator, Northeast Region

Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Important Links


Forest Fire Compacts





Quick Links


Science and Joint Fire Science Consortiums & Exchanges







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September 2018

An Interview with Inga La Puma
Devin Wanner, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

September 2018

Three women in firefighting gear stand in front of a prescribed fire.
(Left to right) Kristen Meistrell, Brittany Dobrzynski from New Jersey Audubon, and Inga La Puma work on a prescribed burn for New Jersey Audubon's Center for Research and Education. (Courtesy photo by New Jersey Forest Fire Service Section Warden Ed Lord)

Biography
As science communications director for the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange (NAFSE), Inga creates research briefs, maintains the NAFSE website, and creates communications materials to help facilitate relevant wildfire research and promote access to meaningful fire science. She uses her experience and connections in the North Atlantic region to promote a network of fire scientists and managers to promote the use of the best science available. Inga is a consultant for the New Jersey Forest Fire Service to help write their strategic plan. She is also a member of her local New Jersey forest fire crew where she helps conduct prescribed burns and fight wildfires.
Megan's Corner - September 2018
LANDFIRE logo and the text In the Northeast.
  • September 10th LANDFIRE Seminar: The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Policy Analysis invited LANDFIRE, the DOI Environmental Achievement Award ("Dream Team") winner, to present a seminar, Foundational All-Lands Data for Improving Decisions in Land Management, on September 10, 2018, in Washington, DC, as part of their Seminar Series. The recorded event will be posted to the Office of Policy Analysis website. View more seminar details.
  • Peatlands Fire Ecology: There are millions of acres of peatlands in the Great Lakes region. Peatland fires are some of the most difficult and expensive fires to manage, yet we understand little about their fire regimes. Similarly, they contain complicated fuel structures, which remain largely unmapped in LANDFIRE datasets. Recall the peatland fire history project I talked about last year in the Hiawatha National Forest. Now it's even bigger and better, with a University of Wisconsin graduate student, Colleen Sutheimer, taking charge on the tree-ring-based fire history piece. I was lucky to join her out in the field this August along with Jed Meunier and Matt Heritsch of the Wisconsin DNR. Last year we sampled the western unit of the Hiawatha, and this year we focused sampling in the eastern unit. With lots of local expert knowledge, we were able to find many old red pine stumps and living trees with fire scars within large peatland complexes. We have lots more work to do but are off to a great start! There was even a peatland fire burning in Seney National Wildlife Refuge while we were in the Upper Peninsula!
  • LAST REMINDER!! 
  • No matter what your experience with fire behavior fuel models (FBFMs) is, please fill out  this quick survey. Your feedback will help me (and others) learn what the gaps in knowledge are in our region, and cater to YOUR needs! What more could you ask for?
  • Heard of that risk assessment thing? The most commonly used methodology is heavily driven by LANDFIRE-mapped FBFMs.  Help me help you learn more about them to provide meaningful input to risk assessment efforts.
  • THIS IS THE LAST REMINDER. The deadline to complete the survey to be included in future FBFM efforts is September 30, 2018. Having YOU included is important.
Collection of images that show a map and someone holding a piece of wood and someone cutting a tree down and a peatland.
Click on the image above to see a larger view.

NE LANDFIRE Contact: Megan.Sebasky@wisconsin.gov
  
New Jersey Forest Fire Service Developing New Prescribed Burning Guidelines Following Signing of Legislation by Governor Murphy

State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

August 30, 2018

(18/P075) TRENTION -- The New Jersey Forest Fire Service is developing new guidelines for prescribed burning following the signing of legislation by Governor Phil Murphy providing the service with more tools to conduct these operations that are critical to protection of public safety and forest-health management.

"The legislation the Governor signed last week provides the Forest Fire Service with more flexibility in determining the objectives of prescribed burns and provides clearer goals for owners of private property and nonprofits to utilize controlled burns to manage the health of ecosystems," said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe.

Every year, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service has a goal of setting prescribed burns on about 20,000 acres of state-owned and other lands. These burns, also known as controlled burns, can take place in both forested and grassland areas and are critical to reducing fuels such as leaves, pine needles, fallen trees and branches, and shrubs that can act as tinder, causing wildfires to become difficult to control. These burns also improve ecosystem health and diversity by removing competing and invasive plant and tree species and enhancing wildlife habitats.

Among the key components of the legislation is an expansion of the definition of burn objectives to specifically allow for controlled burns to achieve ecosystem diversity, such as creation of wildlife habitats, and not just as a tool to reduce hazardous fuels.
Read the full New Jersey prescribed burning news release.

A person walks through the woods with a drip torch during a prescribed fire.
(Courtesy photo by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection)

Multihazard Planning Framework for Communities in the Wildland-Urban Interface: Resource Available
American Planning Association logo.
  • Addresses risk from wildfire and other hazards
  • Encompasses scales from site to neighborhood, community, and region
  • Identifies a range of planning interventions that can be used to reduce risk and maximize the benefits that forests provide across the scales of concern

Cover of a report that reads Multihazard Planning Framework for Communities in the Wildland-Urban Interface.
Click on the image above to view the PDF. (2.6 MB)

Interactions Between Fire, Human Activity, and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
Lake States Fire Science Consortium logo.

Chase T. Brooke and Jessica Miesel, Michigan State University

October 2017

The fire history of a region allows us to understand patterns of how past fires occurred and how those patterns have changed over time. Because many of the forests in the Great Lakes region experienced large influences of Native American communities on fire occurrence, the specific effects of European settlement and climate on fire occurrence patterns over the past 300 years are uncertain. Researchers from the University of Missouri used dendrochronology (the science of dating tree rings) to date fire occurrences and tie them to specific years and climate conditions in northern temperate forests in northern Wisconsin, USA.
Read the full research brief.

Fantastic Failure: Biomass Utilization and Surviving the Pursuit of a Bright Idea
Logo Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.

Nick Goulette, Watershed Research and Training Center

August 30, 2018

Creating market demand and useful products from the woody material that we remove as a byproduct of community wildfire protection work seems like an obvious and elegant solution. Biomass utilization, they call it! I've certainly been compelled by this concept since moving to rural Trinity County, California, over 14 years ago. My organization, the Watershed Research and Training Center (the Watershed Center) has biomass utilization in our DNA. Our founding mission, in the simplest sense, was to generate jobs and community well-being via forest stewardship. Making jobs out of wood-products manufacturing is a time-honored tradition in timber country. Equally clear during our emergence was that we could make our communities and forests more resilient to wildfire in the process of creating said jobs.

History also shows us that biomass utilization is a tenuous and risky endeavor at any scale (PDF, 101KB). Uncertainties and volatility abound, ranging from unpredictable landowner behaviors and constantly shifting market forces, to the price of diesel fuel, to stochastic large wildfire events, to shifting federal budgets. Despite these uncertainties, the Watershed Center has taken many swipes at starting wood product businesses in support of our goals of forest and community resilience over the years. Today, I'll share our most recent fantastic failure with you, and some of what we've tried to take away from it.

Extensive piles of split wood with stacked logs in the background.
(Courtesy photo by Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network)

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

   
Conferences and Meetings

--Regional--

Cloquet Forestry Center and Fond du Lac Tribal Forestry Field Tour ---     Translating Historical Fire Regimes into Contemporary Forest Management
September 20, 2018
University of Minnesota Cloquet Forestry Center
Cloquet, MN

October 29 - November 9, 2018
Pickens County, SC
 
October 29 - November 2, 2018
South Portland, ME

--National-- 
 
Wildland Fire Leadership Council Meeting
September 17, 2018
Washington, DC


Alliance of Forest Fire Compacts Annual Meeting
October 9-10, 2018
New Orleans, LA

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? 

 

Tell us about it! Just contact  Larry Mastic .
Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry | 603-953-3294 | rfitzhenry@fs.fed.us | https://www.fs.usda.gov/naspf/
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