May 8, 2017

NE RSC Members Present at the 1st National Cohesive Strategy Workshop

Submitted by Larry Mastic, NE RSC Coordinator

Dr. Inga La Puma, Science Communication Director, North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange; and Mr. Tom Parent, Executive Director , Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact represented the Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) at the first annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop in Reno, Nevada on April 25, 2017.

Dr. Inga La Puma and Mr. Tom Parent the Cohesive Strategy Workshop; Photo by L. Mastic, April 25, 2017

Inga presented: “Spatial Wildfire History: New Jerseys Hidden Resource”. She explained how New Jersey’s pinelands are not well known nationally as an area where wildfire regularly occurs, but is a highly volatile ecosystem in the most densely populated state in the U.S. She described how the pinelands provide a preview of issues arising in similar areas under increasing population pressures and highlight the need for appropriate scientific tools to address WUI challenges. Her talk covered the creation of a 90-year spatial wildfire history database of the pinelands, with maps of areas showing the highest wildfire frequency as well as areas with the longest fire free time periods and potential fuel buildup. She demonstrated the usefulness of maintaining or initiating a spatial fire history for any jurisdiction, and how direct applications of this type of spatial data can be used. These include landscape level planning, community level wildfire risk-reduction, wildfire response prioritization, and habitat restoration.

Tom presented:  “Facilitating Insect & Disease Research & Management Through Forest Fire Compacts”. Tom explained how the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact has been successful in implementing interstate and international mobilizations of forest health specialists. Issues addressed included Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Southern Pine Beetle (SPB), and Spruce Budworm (SB). His presentation explained the compact structure of interagency cooperation, provided examples of successful forest health mobilizations addressing mitigation and research purposes, and described the national and international nature of the Alliance of Forest Fire Compacts, and identified future opportunities for Wildland Fire Cohesive Strategy initiatives.