This conference is going on this week in Missoula. With this many events and speakers I would like to think that someone would talk about the legal and administrative framework for making decisions about fire prevention and management on national forest lands. That would be the National Forest Management Act and land management plans. Specifically the law’s requirement that “resource plans” (fire plans) and projects (fuel treatments and fire suppression actions) “shall be consistent with the land management plans.” The new planning rule also requires that development of plan components consider “wildland fire and opportunities to restore fire adapted ecosystems.” Someone should maybe be thinking and talking about how revised forest plans should plan for fire (where we want what on a national forest).
Does anyone in the fire profession care about this? Apparently the ‘counter-culture’ does – Professor Richard Hutto will talk about “It’s Time to Integrate the Ecological Benefits and Necessity of Severe Fire in National Fire and Forest Management Plans.” There’s also one (1) presentation by Forest Service fire staff that sounds like it could talk about the decision-making process on national forests: “Integrating Fuel Treatments in Land Management Planning and Wildfire Incident Response.” I hope that someone who knows something about the Forest Service planning process has been involved.