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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Research Project #446258

Research Project: Using Landscape Features, Plot Measurements, and Remote Sensing Data to Improve Predictions of Fuels Treatment Longevity in the Colorado Front Range

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-13660-010-032-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2024
End Date: May 31, 2026

The three primary objectives of the proposed work are to 1) complete long-term monitoring at 316 sites that have had fuel treatments in the past 10-14 years by measuring post-treatment patterns of fuel accumulation and vegetation change over time, 2) define treatment effectiveness thresholds and longevity estimates by quantifying vegetation change and simulating fire behavior, and 3) improve understanding of treatment longevity and how it may change in the future, in order to inform the frequency and type of treatments needed to maintain treatment effectiveness.

We will collect and analyze an unprecedented dataset of 316 plots that were previously measured immediately before and after treatment, by completing vegetation and fuel surveys now, 10-14 years after treatment. From these data we will characterize how different fuel types accumulate over time, and how this affects potential fire behavior, to improve understanding of treatment effectiveness, longevity, and retreatment requirements.