November 2016    
Exciting changes are in store for The Network! In this issue, learn about how The Network will transition to a new organization, register for The Network Annual Conference and much more!
 Supporting Fire Adapted Communities Through Nevada Division of Forestry's Capabilities
and Commitments

We asked Nevada Division of Forestry's (NDF) Cooperative Forestry & Fire Supervisor Community Protection Coordinator, Ryan Shane to prepare an article for readers regarding NDF's ability to manage grants on behalf of communities. We thank Ryan for the following response to our request:
NDF is committed to and invested in planning and implementing fire adapted community concepts and practices in Nevada. Some of the primary funding mechanisms for this implementation require all stakeholders, communities and citizens to have complementary strategies and actions in order to compete successfully. Living With Fire responded to the closing of the Nevada Fire Safe Council by creating the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities ("The Network") to replace some of the functions of the Council, though the entity needs to be grown in scale across the state. A number of key fire adapted community stakeholders are now engaged in this growth process to increase capability, capacity, and function of the Network, which NDF is hopeful will result in increased grant and other revenue to support matching efforts on the part of communities across Nevada. For the last 16 years, NDF has been applying for and receiving grants to help support fire adapted concept implementation by NDF, the Nevada Fire Safe Council, landowners, and others. NDF has experience managing grants from the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. These grants have ranged from less than $20,000 to $4,000,000 each. NDF uses several different methods to manage awarded funds and the associated project work. Many of the grants NDF receives support fuel reduction work managed and implemented by NDF. Cooperators can submit grants through NDF, when solicited by NDF. When NDF is the grant recipient, the agency can manage the funds and project work on behalf of the cooperator or community.  If NDF doesn't have capacity to implement projects, contractors are often used to accomplish the tasks under the guidance of NDF project managers. Contractors used by NDF are on an approved list prepared by the Nevada Division of Purchasing under a Master Service Agreement for fuels reduction and vegetation management. The Master Service Agreement allows all agencies of the State of Nevada to request quotes from the registered contractors and directly award contracts for specific projects. Where communities have capacity to manage the grants, they can receive a sub-grant from NDF and pay contractors or NDF to implement the projects. There won't ever be enough grant funding to address all of the fire adapted community needs in the state. Armed with this knowledge, NDF encourages communities to take ownership of their needs by investing non-grant funds, energy and time into their own safety and welfare. Grants may be better thought of as a supplemental resource potentially available for enhancing a community's fire adapted accomplishments. In summary, NDF will continue to invest in fire adapted community implementation, especially in partnership with communities that assist in the process. The Network is in the process of transitioning and the changes will bring together all of the major fire adapted community stakeholders into a single group that will maximize energy, focus, and investments into a single entity. NDF is experienced in grant and project management and the agency will continue to provide those services to stakeholders and communities as needed. The Network is undergoing an evolution that will assist communities that are energized to become fire adapted, and NDF will continue to assist both in implementing their goals.
For more information, please contact Ryan at
 The Nevada Network Transitions to a New Organization

Creating the widespread presence of Fire Adapted Communities (FACs) in high-wildfire threat locations is a mission of the Nevada Fire Board as they work to implement the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. In 2014 the Living With Fire team recognized the need for education and community support to advance people's understanding of what an FAC is and what it takes to prepare for the occurrence of wildfire. To address this need, an organization was created, the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities (a.k.a. The Network), and managed as part of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Living With Fire Program. From its inception it was recognized that The Network's status as a Cooperative Extension program placed limitations on the support services that would be available to interested communities. To overcome these deficiencies, the Nevada Fire Board has worked in conjunction with numerous partners to find or create an organization with greater capability to offer the array of support services necessary to advance the mission.
In early October, 2016 the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) introduced a proposal to organize, coordinate, and support the development of FACs throughout Nevada. Their proposal envisioned the creation of a new organization with a new name, administratively supported by NDF staff but entrusted with considerable independence and autonomy. Employees of this new organization would not represent NDF but would in fact represent and be accountable to the administration of the new organization. The support services available to threatened communities would follow the successful principles and practices pioneered by the original Nevada Fire Safe Council. While many details remain to be finalized, the concept proposed in this unique hybrid organizational approach has been met with considerable interest and support. Twenty-one individuals representing diverse interests met on October 24, 2016 and concluded their day-long deliberations with the identification of issues that require resolution, a high level of support for the Fire Board to proceed, and a next steps plan for implementation. The goal is to have the new organization finalized and The Network transitioned to its oversight by the time of the statewide conference planned for March 27, 2017 (see sidebar reminder).

Partner Spotlight:
The Nevada Fire Board
(A Nevada Fire Board Oversight Body)



For this month's Partner Spotlight, we feature the Nevada Fire Board. We asked Paul Peterson, Bureau of Land Management's State Fire Management Officer and Chair of the Nevada Fire Board to provide an article for our readers. Here's his response:
The Nevada Fire Board is comprised of the fire managers from Nevada's federal, state and local agencies. It allows agencies, cooperators and the public to work in a coordinated effort to address and improve fire management operations and activities in Nevada. The Board was established in the late 1980s and formalized in 1997 through a charter. It also charters groups to work on specific items for fire management areas in Nevada. Board activities are accomplished through the following committees:
  • Nevada Interagency Fire Operations Committee: Addresses fire operational issues and oversees the Type 3 Interagency Fire Management Teams.  
  • Incident Business Committee: Works on financial agreements, billing procedures and incident business items.
  • Fire Prevention Committee: Focuses on interagency fire prevention efforts in Nevada.
  • Training Committee: Concentrates on developing and hosting training, prioritizing employee training needs and working with Great Basin and national organizations.
The Nevada Fire Board, in collaboration with other entities, supports the implementation of the Nevada Cohesive Strategy to further develop fire management efficiencies in Nevada. The responsible group is comprised of the Nevada Fire Board, a representative from each committee and other stakeholders in the Federal, State and local functions.
The Nevada Fire Board members and their current representatives are:
  • Bureau of Land Management - Paul Petersen, State Fire Management Officer (Chair)
  • US Forest Service - Russ Bird, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Forest Fire Management Officer
  • Nevada Division of Forestry - Mike Friend, State Fire Program Manager
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs - Carlos Nosie, Regional Fire Management Officer
  • Fish and Wildlife Service - Lee Rickard, Regional Fire Management Officer
  • Local Fire Departments - Mike Brown, Chair of Nevada Fire Chiefs Association
If you would like to learn more about the Nevada Fire Board, you can contact Paul at .

In the News:
Small Beetles are Killing Our Forests
An adult mountain pine bark beetle is shown above. Photograph is courtesy of Gary Blomquist, PhD and the US Forest Service.
Bark beetles are small insects, brown to black in color and about the size of a grain of rice. Under normal conditions bark beetles fulfill the role of predator, killing trees weakened by other insects, disease, damage, or age which in turn favors healthy vigorous trees able to repel the beetle's attack. In this way they play an important role in healthy, functioning forest ecosystems. However, when all trees are weakened by an extended, severe drought coupled with an excessive number of trees competing for limited resources, bark beetle populations can reach extraordinary levels and successful attacks on previously resistant trees can result in substantial tree mortality. While serious infestations in the pine forests of the West have occurred for several years, more recent catastrophic losses amounting to 122 million dead trees have emerged in the Southern Sierra Mountains of California. Small severe outbreaks were also recorded in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Once a pine tree has been successfully infested there is nothing that can be done to save it. Continue reading to learn more about bark beetle infestations and what homeowners can do.
Pine trees growing on residential property are also susceptible to attack particularly during epidemic outbreaks. Bark beetles kill trees by boring a hole through the bark to the interior of the tree between the bark and the wood. Once inside, the beetles mate and begin hollowing out tunnels which serve as a source of food and a place to deposit eggs to produce the next generation of beetles. In addition, adult beetles can infect the tree with a fungus that they carry and emit a chemical attractant that alerts other beetles that a successful attack has occurred. The combination of the fungi invading the water conducting tissue, and the tunnels interrupting the flow of nutrients throughout the tree result in the tree's death. A healthy tree resists the attacks by producing an abundance of sap or pitch that entraps the adult beetles and pushes them out as they try to bore through the bark. Weakened trees however, do not have the capacity to produce sufficient pitch to successfully repel an attack. Under epidemic conditions, even healthy trees succumb to beetle attacks that can number in the thousands.
External signs of beetle infestation are needles turning yellow, external globular accumulations of pitch on the bark, small holes in the bark, the presence of boring dust in bark crevices, and bark flaking by woodpeckers. Pitch resulting from successful attacks is typically reddish in color and varies in size depending on the beetle species. White or cream colored pitch may be indicative of unsuccessful attacks. Removing some bark with a hatchet will reveal adult and larval tunnels, as well as dead or degraded inner bark. Trees with large amounts of easily observed, reddish brown dry boring dust and yellowing needles are likely dead or dying. Once infested, control of beetles is not possible. However, there are several things property owners can do to increase resistance and prevent successful attacks.
  1. Increase the amount of water and nutrients available to desirable trees by creating more space between trees. Favor the healthiest and most vigorous individuals by removing and disposing of weak and susceptible trees. Infested trees should be removed promptly and disposed of by chipping, burning, or removing from the property.
  2. Promptly clean up and dispose of branches and trees that have blown down as they may become the source of beetle population build up.
  3. Avoid causing tree injury such as removing bark or disturbing the root system through excavation or soil compaction.
  4. Irrigate trees during periods of drought by saturating the soil to a depth of two feet at the outer edge of the tree branches. Start early and repeat throughout the growing season. When it becomes difficult to insert a screwdriver into the soil it is time to repeat the watering.
  5. On high value landscape trees, applying insecticides such as carbaryl may provide protection for up to two years. Treatment should be performed by a certified commercial applicator. 
The following sources provide greater detail in regard to recognition of beetle infestation, damage, and preventative measures that can be employed.

An example of white colored pitch showing site of unsuccessful beetle attack. Photo courtesy of Hustvedt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 



Multiple beetle attacks are shown on the trunk of this tree. White masses of pitch show locations of unsuccessful attacks. Reddish brown pitch show locations of successful beetle entry. Photograph courtesy of Padraic Ryan - CC BY-SA 3.0,



Bark beetle tunnels (galleries) interrupt the flow of water and nutrients, causing the tree to die. Photograph courtesy of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.



Red boring dust at the base of this tree indicates a bark beetle attack. Photograph from "Bark Beetles in California Conifers," US Department of Agriculture, February, 2015.

This newsletter is provided by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, an EEO/AA institution, with funding from a State Fire Assistance grant from the Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service. Additional support is provided by the Bureau of Land Management - Nevada State Office.
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