Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 4:30 PM
Identifying forests in need of fuel reduction and fire restoration
Most scientists agree that fuel reduction is required to protect communities and restore fire-dependent ecosystems, but they disagree about exactly where and how much fuel treatment is needed. To better inform this debate, we evaluated the quality of GIS maps being used to influence national fire policy. We found that coarse-scale GIS maps can provide some useful guidelines for fire policy, but are insufficient for targeting individual fuel treatments on the ground. This report presents the shortcomings of existing national fire management datasets and provides improved alternatives that represent the first step of a comprehensive strategy for prioritizing fuel reduction and fire restoration.