The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: Western Regional Action Plan
NCAR Coupled Fire-Weather Modelling Presentation
Healthy forests help provide clean and abundant water, clean air, resources for renewable energy, carbon sequestration, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Leads for this issue are Governors C.L. "Butch" Otter (ID), Jan Brewer (AZ), John Hickenlooper (CO), and John Kitzhaber (OR). Financial support is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service.
National Wildland Fire Leadership Council
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber represents the Western Governors' Association on the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, a group that provides oversight for fire and fuels management activities. The WFLC is an intergovernmental committee of federal, state, tribal, county and municipal officials and is considered a model for collaborative and effective leadership. As an active WFLC member, the WGA has led efforts within the Council to convene diverse stakeholders to implement shared solutions for natural resource management issues.
The Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture and Homeland Security, who oversee WFLC, collaboratively developed a report to Congress as a requirement to the FLAME Act and companion reports of the Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
Recognizing the need for a clearer focus on forest and rangeland health, the Governors’ Forest Health Advisory Committee was re-formed in December, 2008 to address a wider range of issues, including sustainable forest management, forest mortality from insects and diseases, and a need to increase the awareness of the use of woody biomass for energy production. The FHAC work plan reflects an aggressive agenda to resolve agency differences and to work collaboratively towards finding solutions to the devastation occurring in our western forests.
The Forest Health Advisory Committee membership includes non-governmental entities representing a variety of interests, including communities, environmental conservation groups and international organizations. Governmental representation includes federal, state and county level agencies that deal with forestry and energy issues. The advisory committee was actively involved in implementing the National Fire Plan and the 10 Year Comprehensive Strategy for reducing wildland fire risks. Several members are now actively involved in developing a Western Regional Strategy.
WGA worked with the Forest Service, Department of the Interior, states, tribes, counties and interested stakeholders to develop an historic comprehensive plan outlining long-term wildland fire management strategy for the West. A revised implementation plan outlines specific goals, actions, and timeframes. The plan supports the 10-year Comprehensive Strategy endorsed by Western Governors and the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture. WGA actively works with its Forest Health Advisory Committee to help implement, monitor and oversee progress.
Fire-Adapted Communities - Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)
The process of developing a CWPP can help a community clarify and refine its priorities for the protection of life, property, and critical infrastructure from devastating wildland fires. Implementing a CWPP is an important step to becoming a Fire-Adapted Community. WGA partnered with, among others, the Society of American Foresters, The National Association of Counties, and the National Association of State Foresters to develop additional guidance for communities on developing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The “Community Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan” has been recognized as a great tool for counties and communities to help improve communications and coordination, regardless of the emergency. Additional resource links are shown below:
- Community Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan
- Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan: A Handbook for Wildland-Urban Interface Communities
- Local County/community guidance to develop and implement effective local land use policies/codes and building and development codes.
- Quick Guides to assist communities in the areas of collaboration and development of CWPPs
This new video release by the Society for Range Management (~9 minutes) tells a story about the role of livestock grazing on Western public rangelands. The video discusses livestock grazing and its contributions to a variety of important public interests and values, including:
- the health, diversity and productivity of the rangelands;
- the quality of water resources;
- the health of habitat for diverse native species of plants and wildlife;
- the ability of rangelands to withstand noxious weed invasion and the impacts of wildfires;
- and the preservation of open spaces in the face of a growing human population and increased urbanization of the American West.