Funded Research Projects: FOREST ECOLOGY

A Proposal to Develop a Fuel Hazard Assessment for the Washington State Park System

Research Sponsored By: WA Parks and Recreation Commission
Principal Investigator: Ernesto Alvarado
Project Description
This interagency agreement will support work between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (WSPRC) and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) at the University of Washington to assess current wildfire fuel and fire hazards, as well as develop strategies to reduce these issues on WSPRC lands. This interagency agreement allows WSPRC to utilize the expertise of UW to better define current and future fuel and fire hazards across Washington, focusing on WSPRC lands in the eastern half of the state. The UW will evaluate current risks in Washington state parks, specifically Riverside and Mt. Spokane state parks. Results from this project will help determine the efficacy of the WSPRC’s current fuel reduction treatments, and will assist WSPRC to prioritize and define these treatments in the short- (2-5 years) and long-term future, specifically in urban development areas. The UW team will characterize current and future wildfire fuel hazards and risks for WSPRC lands using parameters such as current fuel bed type, fire behavior, ecosystem type, history of fire occurrence, historic forest structure and vegetative diversity, current and projected urban growth, ecological restoration goals, and weather and climate data. Additional stewardship criteria may be added to assessments as needed.