Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2009
Publication Date: 6/15/2009
Publication URL: parking.nal.usda.gov/shortterm/21239_Wildfire_Rehabilitation_and_Restoration.doc.pdf
Citation: Clements, C.D., McCuin, G., Shane, R.S., McAdoo, K., Harmon, D.N. 2009. Wildfire Restoration and Rehabilitation: Triage in Pursuit of Resilience. Rangelands. 31(3):30-35. Interpretive Summary: The Society for Range Management sponsored a Conference-workshop "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" that was held in Reno, Nevada in December 2008. This paper is a synthesis of the "Wildfire Rehabilitation and Restoration" workshop. This workshop started out with invited speakers and then a panel discussion then followed by the audience responding to a questionnaire in written format. Over 300 questionnaires were received in which two questions were asked, 1) what is the most critical issue, challenge, or goal that must be addressed for wildfire rehabilitation and restoration to effect resilience?, and 2) what is the best strategy for success? These questions were then broke into five areas (science recommendations, management policies and changes, funding ideas and priorities, outreach audiences and strategies, education or training objectives). This paper reports on the audiences responses to these questions as well as the invited speakers presentations, panel discussion, and additional food for thought when attempting rehabilitation or restoration efforts in the Intermountain west. The top three areas of concern from the audience was 1) seed what works, 2) research plant materials that can compete with such invasive species as cheatgrass, and 3) there is a disconnect between the administration and on–the-ground realities.
Technical Abstract: This paper reports on the synthesis of "Wildfire Rehabilitation and Restoration" workshop that was part of a larger conference-workshop "Wildfires and Invasive Plants in American Deserts" sponsored by the Society for Range Management in Reno, Nevada in December 2008. The workshop started out with invited speakers and a panel discussion on subjects related to this workshop and then was followed by further audience participation in written form on over 300 questionnaires. Overwhelmingly, resource managers at this conference are frustrated with the lack of success when attempting rehabilitation and restoration of Intermountain west rangelands. Resource managers point out that there is a disconnect between those in the agencies who make policy and the actual events that take place on-the-ground. Resource mangers would like to focus on seeding species and using methods that work and let science continue to develop new plants materials and methodologies, but to not use these new approaches until they are proven to have a reasonable chance of success.