Salem Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Salem Record of Decision

Salem District Resource Management Plan Table of Contents:

- Tables

- Maps

- Appendices

Fire/Fuels Management


Objectives

Provide appropriate fire suppression responses to wildfires that will help meet resource management objectives.

Use prescribed fire to meet resource management objectives. This will include but not be limited to fuels management for wildfire hazard reduction, restoration of desired vegetation conditions, management of habitat, and silvicultural treatments.

Adhere to smoke management/air quality standards of the Clean Air Act and the state implementation plan for prescribed burning.

Land Use Allocations

None specifically for fire/fuels management.

Management Actions/Direction —

General

Apply the management actions/direction in the Special Status and SEIS Special Attention Species and Habitat section.

Address fire/fuels management for all land use allocations as part of watershed analysis and project planning.

Coordinate fire management activities in rural interface areas with local governments, agencies, and landowners. During watershed analysis, identify additional factors which may affect hazard reduction goals.

Management Actions/Direction —

Riparian Reserves

Design fuel treatment and fire suppression strategies, practices, and activities to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives, and to minimize disturbance of riparian ground cover and vegetation. Strategies will recognize the role of fire in ecosystem function and identify those instances where fire suppression or fuel management activities could be damaging to long-term ecosystem function.

Locate incident bases, camps, helibases, staging areas, helispots and other centers for incident activities outside of Riparian Reserves. If the only suitable location for such activities is within the Riparian Reserve, an exemption may be granted following a review and recommendation by a resource advisor. The advisor will prescribe the location, use conditions, and rehabilitation requirements. Utilize an interdisciplinary team to predetermine suitable incident base and helibase locations.

Minimize delivery of chemical retardant, foam, or other additives to surface waters. An exception may be warranted in situations where over-riding immediate safety imperatives exist, or, following a review and recommendation by a resource advisor, when an escape would cause more long-term damage.

Design prescribed burn projects and prescriptions to contribute to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Immediately establish an emergency team to develop a rehabilitation treatment plan needed to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives whenever Riparian Reserves are significantly damaged by a wildfire or a prescribed fire burning outside prescribed parameters.

Until watershed analysis is completed for a water-shed, suppress wildfire to avoid loss of habitat and to maintain future management options.

Consider allowing some natural fires to burn under prescribed conditions. This decision will be based on additional analysis and planning.

Consider rapidly extinguishing smoldering coarse woody debris and duff.

Locate and manage water drafting sites (e.g., sites where water is pumped to control or suppress fires) to minimize adverse effects on riparian habitat and water quality as consistent with Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Management Actions/Direction —

Late-Successional Reserves

Emphasize maintaining late-successional habitat in wildfire suppression plans.

Use minimum impact suppression methods for fuels management in accordance with guidelines for reducing risks of large-scale disturbances.

During fire suppression activities, consult with an interdisciplinary team to assure that habitat damage is minimized.

Until a fire management plan is completed for a Late-Successional Reserve or group of reserves, suppress wildfire to avoid loss of habitat and to maintain future management options.

Prepare a specific fire management plan prior to any habitat manipulation activities in Late-Successional Reserves. Specify how hazard reduction and other prescribed fire applications meet the objectives of the Late-Successional Reserve. Until the plan is approved, proposed activities will be subject to review by the Regional Ecosystem Office.

Apply prescribed fire in a manner which retains the amount of coarse woody debris determined through watershed analysis.

Consider allowing some natural fires to burn under prescribed conditions. This decision will be based on additional analysis and planning.

Consider rapidly extinguishing smoldering coarse woody debris and duff.

Management Actions/Direction —

Adaptive Management Areas

Explore and support opportunities to research the role and effects of fire management on ecosystem functions.

Emphasize fire/fuels management cooperation across agency and ownership boundaries.

Follow fire/fuels management actions/direction in this resource management plan until Adaptive Management Area plans are completed.

Use accepted wildfire suppression strategies and tactics and conform with specific agency policy.

Management Actions/Direction —

Matrix

Plan and implement prescribed fire treatments to minimize:

  • intensive burning, unless appropriate for certain specific habitats, communities, or stand conditions;
  • consumption of litter and coarse woody debris;
  • disturbance of soil and litter that may occur as a result of heavy equipment operation; and
  • the frequency of treatments.

Management Actions/Direction —

All Land Use Allocations

Wildfire Suppression

Minimize the negative impacts of wildfire on ecosystem management objectives.

Respond to all wildfires. In most cases, responses will consist of aggressive initial attack to extinguish fires at the smallest size possible.

For wildfires that escape initial attack, consult with an interdisciplinary team to develop an analysis for containment of each wildfire (including escaped prescribed fires) and to evaluate the potential suppression damage compared to potential wildfire damage. Suppression tactics will consider:

  • the safety of firefighting personnel;
  • how best to achieve coordination of wildfire suppression activities to avoid causing adverse impacts on federal and nonfederal lands;
  • protection of specific attributes of each land use allocation;
  • the appropriate use of suppression tools such as aircraft, bulldozers, pumps and other mechanized equipment, and a clear definition of any restrictions relating to their use;
  • the potential adverse effects on meeting ecosystem management objectives;
  • protection of forest structural components such as snags, duff, and coarse woody debris to the extent possible; and
  • the rehabilitation of damaged areas.

Prescribed Fire

Develop project-level prescribed fire plans using an interdisciplinary team approach. Plans will address:

  • adherence to smoke management and air quality standards;
  • meeting stated objectives for the land use allocations;
  • maintaining or restoring ecosystem processes or structure; and
  • the role of natural fire in specific landscapes, current ecosystem needs, and wildfire hazard analysis included in the fire management plan.

Fuels Management for Hazard Reduction

Modify the amount and type of fuels in order to lower the potential of fire ignition and rate of spread; protect resources by lowering the risk of high intensity, stand-replacing wildfires; and adhere to smoke management and air quality standards.

Reduce fire hazard through methods such as prescribed burning, mechanical or manual manipulation of forest vegetation and debris, removal of forest vegetation and debris, and combinations of these methods. Hazard reduction plans will be developed through an interdisciplinary team approach and will consider the following:

  • providing for the safety of firefighting personnel;
  • identification of levels of coarse woody debris and snags of adequate size and in sufficient quantities to meet habitat requirements of species of concern;
  • developing a fuel profile that supports land allocation objectives; and
  • seeking a balance between reducing the risk of wildfire and the cost efficiency consistent with meeting land allocation objectives.