Themes from Forest Service/NFF Wildfire Crisis Roundtables’ Recommendations

I received this email yesterday..

Thank you for your interest in the webinar “Wildfire Crisis Strategy Roundtables: Recommendations and Next Steps,” hosted on November 14, 2022, by the National Forest Foundation (NFF) in coordination with the USDA Forest Service.

A recording of the webinar and associated presentation is available on NFF’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy Roundtable webpage.

In addition, the Forest Service released a new ArcGIS StoryMap, “Confronting the Wildfire Crisis,” which provides context and shows the ten initial priority landscapes.

Here are the recommendations.

Some of these sound familiar from the EADM dialogues.  It looks like forest resilience is an important management objective (thank Gaia they got away from the unnecessary “resiliency”).  Which I’m sure will cause some to wonder “is that the same as integrity, or does the planning rule need to be revised?” Can integrity be redefined (and NRV) in the planning handbook to be the same as resilience?  Or are these abstractions headed for a showdown somewhere and sometime?

If I were asked how climate is incorporated into this list, I would say resilience includes climate, and the “tradeoffs and benefits” in 10 include carbon benefits.

Looking at these from the 10,000 foot level, I wonder if characterizing federal land management as responding to the “wildfire crisis” or the “climate crisis” leaves recreation, probably the #1 interest of the US public, once again sitting in the wings of important FS activities.  What do you think?

1 thought on “Themes from Forest Service/NFF Wildfire Crisis Roundtables’ Recommendations”

  1. I pulled this from the Planning Rule Preamble to clarify the relationship between “ecological integrity,” “resilience” and climate change. I don’t see a need for changing the Rule.

    “Plans will include plan components to maintain or restore ecological integrity, so that ecosystems can resist change, are resilient under changing conditions, and are able to recover from disturbance.” (Most of the references to “resilient” say or imply “resilient to climate change.”)

    Also, “… the Department replaced the phrase ‘‘healthy and resilient’’ to (sic) ‘‘ecological integrity’’ in this paragraph and throughout this subpart. This change responds to public concern about how to define and measure ‘‘health’’ and ‘‘resilience.’’ Ecosystem integrity is a more scientifically supported term, has established metrics for measurement, and is used by both the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.” (Later adding, “Having similar approaches to assessing and evaluating ecological conditions across the broader landscape will facilitate an all-lands approach to ecological sustainability.”)

    The Planning Rule also uses the terms “resilient/resilience” in its definitions of “restoration” and “viable population.”

    But I would ask how forest planning is incorporated into this list. They use (and even highlight) the word “planning,” but since forest planning already embraces resilience, I don’t think forest planning is what they were thinking about.


Leave a Comment