Prioritizing forest and fuel management investments to reduce wildfire risk to developed areas
Recent extreme wildfire seasons in the US have rekindled policy debates about the underlying drivers and potential role of forest management can play in reducing fuels and future wildfire impacts to developed areas. However, detailed assessments that map and schedule the type and amount of treatments needed and the associated cost are not available for US national forests (i.e. a plan), thereby making policy discussions about investments difficult. To fill this gap, we developed two interlinked decision support systems, the Fireshed Registry and the Scenario Investment Planning Platform.
The Fireshed Registry is a geospatial dashboard and decision tool built in ArcGIS online. It provides an interactive system to view a wide array of information about firesheds (see below) and monitor progress towards risk reduction from management investments. The Fireshed Registry is the geospatial data warehouse for the Forest Service Scenario Planning Platform. The system integrates available data into a series of panels that address specific question related to risk to developed areas. While the Fireshed Registry was organized around fire risk to developed areas, the framework does not preclude integrated assessment of other resource management priorities such as protecting water, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunity. The all lands geography of the Fireshed Registry makes it a useful platform for Shared Stewardship as well.
The vision for the Fireshed Registry is to create a living atlas of the recent past, present, and potential future forest conditions - weaving together many different spatial data to provide a time slice of land conditions, recent wildfire activity, predicted wildfires, exposure to communities, and treatment scenarios derived from 5-year action plans and the Scenario Investment Planning Platform.