Prescribed fire photo_P van Mantgem

Fighting drought with fire: Can forest management increase resistance to drought?  Identifying information gaps for adapting to a hotter, drier future

Monday, October 5 (Clients' Day)
Time and location: 3:00 PM (TBD)
Invited and open registration. Free.

Organizers: Phillip van Mantgem, U.S. Geological Survey, Redwood Field Station, and Donald Falk, University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources

The severe drought in the southwestern United States provides a natural experiment to test the efficacy of key forest management tools – mechanical thinning and prescribed fire – to increase resistance to severe drought.  Reductions in tree density following thinning and prescribed fire are widely presumed to increase resistance to drought. Yet this proposition has remained largely untested, and land managers do not have the basic information they need for critical cost-benefit analyses. In the face of ongoing climatic changes, is a dollar best spent on managing for increased forest resistance, or is it best spent on other climate change adaptation needs?

Workshop organizers will present information on current and planned research on fire and drought interactions. A primary goal of the workshop is to get managers’ input on planned projects and help identify key knowledge gaps. We will discuss project design, data collection strategies (including potential study sites), and translation of results into actionable decisions for forest managers. How can we best tailor our work so that management planning can best accommodate climate change adaptation? Workshop results will be communicated back to participants via email and web conferences, ultimately resulting in improved research protocols and new study proposals.
This workshop is limited to 20 people, so participants are asked to contact Phillip van Mantgem to register.