Devastating Impacts of Wildland Fires and the Need to Better Manage Our Overgrown, Fire Prone National Forests: Hearing Before the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, April 23, 2015   [open pdf - 1007KB]

This is a testimony compilation of the April 23, 2015 hearing "The Devastating Impacts of Wildland Fires and the Need to Better Manage Our Overgrown, Fire Prone National Forests" held before the House Committee on Natural Resources. From the testimony of Ms. Diane Vosick: "There is abundant scientific research that began in the 1890's that guides the development of restoration treatments for ponderosa pine and related frequent fire forests. This research analyzes the outcomes of restoration treatments and provides confidence that we are on the right path to restoring forest health. This broad body of science allows us to: [1] determine pre-settlement forest conditions and determine how many excess trees there are on the landscape and how many should be removed; [2] determine how fire regimes (frequency and intensity) have changed over the last century so we can determine when and how to reintroduce managed fire; [3] determine how too many trees impact the health of individual trees and the overall resilience of the forest; [4] determine that overall there are positive ecological responses to thinning and prescribed burning--the key elements of any attempt to restore ecosystem health in ponderosa pine and related ecosystems; [5] demonstrate that restoration treatments substantially reduce fire hazard by thinning trees to decrease tree canopy density, break up interconnected canopy fuels, raise the crown base height, and reduce accumulated forest floor fuels and debris with prescribed fire. Where tree density is great, fire alone is inadequate. Without thinning, fire can lead to increased mortality, especially among old growth trees, and transition from a controlled surface fire to an uncontrolled crown fire. Excessive tree density is the typical case over most of the ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer types throughout the West." Statements, Letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Philip Rigdon, Diane Vosick, Andy Fecko, and Mitch Friedman.

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U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: http://naturalresources.house.gov/
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