(Wildfires – Rehabilitation, Community Education)
Our team was asked to analyze and comment on the existing knowledge and science related to postfire rehabilitation treatments, with particular emphasis on the known effectiveness of these treatments. The general effects of fire on Western forested landscapes are well documented (Agee 1993; DeBano and others 1998; Kozlowski and Ahlgren 1974) and have been thoroughly discussed in other chapters of this report. However, postfire erosion and rehabilitation treatment effectiveness have not been studied extensively.
The first part of this chapter describes the postfire conditions, as identified by the Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) team, and the subsequent BAER team recommendations for rehabilitation treatment. The next sections describe the different treatments, where they were applied on the Hayman Fire burn area, and the current knowledge of treatment effectiveness. The recommendations for monitoring treatment effectiveness will answer the specific question, “What types of monitoring protocol and reports should Forest Service and other jurisdictions put in place to continue to learn from this fire?” and outline a general process for monitoring postfire rehabilitation efforts. This is followed by a description of the sites currently established within the Hayman Fire burned area to evaluate the effectiveness of various rehabilitation treatments. The need to establish control sites (burned but not treated) to provide a basis for comparison and monitor natural recovery is also discussed. The final section identifies the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to guide the selection of postfire rehabilitation treatments on future fires in the Colorado Front Range and similar environments.
Robichaud, R., MacDonald, L., Freouf, J., Neary, D., Martin, D. & Ashmun, L. (2003).
USDA Forest Service General Technology Representation RMRS-FTR-114.