Monday, 17 November 2003
Prioritizing fuel management activities using watersheds and terrain units
We used watersheds and physiographic units to demonstrate a procedure for prioritizing fuel management activities. As part of the Southern Utah Fuel Management Demonstration project, we examined the Beaver River area, within the Sevier Lake Basin, UT. We chose a subset of twelve 6th code watershed units and developed on average 50 physiographic land units per watershed. Physiographic units delineate finer units within a watershed by creating unique combinations of environmental variables that will respond differently to management activities. These sub-watershed land units were developed by combining categories of slope, aspect, and elevation to develop unique biophysical environments; i.e. steep, southerly facing slopes. Managers may select these units for implementing fuel activities based on the impact they will have on the landscape. Physiographic units will allow managers to evaluate the effect their management activities will have on the structure, composition, and function of the biological and physical components of the system. In addition to demonstrating the development of physiographic units we present a GIS database with data layer summaries for both watershed and physiographic units. This database includes information on roads, population, vegetation, soils, climate, and fire ignitions. Questions asked by mangers to locate landscapes at risk can be queried using this database. Using the phyisographic units as a guide, managers can use the database to evaluate the additional impacts that fuel management activities might have on the biological and physical components of the watershed. This poster will use several examples specific to the Beaver River area and will explain the development and use of the GIS database and the physiographic land units.