More than 250 scientists, land managers, educators, students and other interested participants from across the country will convene at the Fire, Fuel Treatment and Ecological Restoration Conference hosted by Colorado State University April 16-18.
In light of widespread interest in recent fires, the event is designed to exchange ideas on a variety of critical issues involving fuel treatments, such as mechanical thinning, prescribed fire and other techniques for reducing fire hazards. Other topics will include economic, social and ecological issues related to fire management in the Rocky Mountain region.
The conference will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 16 at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Road. Presentations from a variety of scientists and experts from the Western region of the country will focus on fuel treatment performance, fire hazard reduction, fire restoration cases and ecosystem effects. Field trips to local areas, including areas that have been treated to reduce fire hazards, are planned for April 17. The conference concludes with presentations from 8-5 p.m. on April 18 that focus on economic and social issues related to fire hazard reduction, fire regimes – the frequency and intensity of historic fires – and landscape planning.
"Now is an opportune time to capitalize on fire ecology knowledge and management expertise developed locally and elsewhere, with special focus on the central Rocky Mountains," said Phil Omi, director of Colorado State’s WESTFIRE, or Western Forest Fire Research Center. "Prior workshops and conference have directed little attention toward issues unique to the fire ecology and management of central Rocky Mountain ecosystems."
Other topics that will be covered by papers and posters presented at the conference include the determination of the proper place and appropriate time for hazard reduction measures; successful restoration case studies in the central Rockies and elsewhere; fuel treatment effects on wildfire severity and other natural resource concerns; small-diameter, tree-use opportunities; social and political opportunities and barriers; landscape fuel treatment issues; status of knowledge of fuel treatments and fire regimes; and guidelines for monitoring and evaluating fire treatment success.
The conference is sponsored by Colorado State University’s WESTFIRE, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Colorado State Forest Service and Joint Fire Service Program.
For a complete schedule of conference topics and events, visit the Web at http://www.warnercnr.colostate.edu/~fuel/agenda.htm.