2016 Prescribed Fire Pilot Project
With two record-breaking years of megafire, and devastated communities across the state, it’s not surprising that fire was on lawmakers’ minds this spring. In the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers explored tools for creating more fire-resilient forests, including the passage of House Bill 2928, the Forest Resiliency Burning Pilot project. The bill provides funding for prescribed fire on at-risk forests, as well as an exploration of current barriers to expanding the role of controlled fire in creating and maintaining fire-resilient forests.
To see what’s up with the project statewide see waprescribedfire.org
Read about the 5 pilot burns happening within the Tapash landscape! putfiretowork.org/burn-sites
Join us in Cle Elum on 10/28/16 to discuss living “In the Era of Megafires“. See our Tapash.org NEWS page for details about this state-of-the-art presentation!
This document provides draft results from the Nature Conservancy and University of Washington Rural Technology Initiative Tapash Forest Restoration Needs and Mechanical Treatment Opportunity Analysis along with brief methodological descriptions and data definitions.
Oak Creek Restoration Project
The objective of this project is to restore and protect ecological processes and functions within the diverse forest of the Oak Creek landscape. Project implementation includes thinning, prescribed burning, and stream habitat restoration.
2016 Oak Creek Project Update (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016)
Watch! Woody material recruitment project work
The Tapash Collaborative partners have evaluated priority areas across the 2.3 million acre Tapash landscape and in 2014 identified watersheds within the Manastash-Taneum landscape as a priority for restoration treatments. This is a 90,000-acre landscape that includes ownership by WDNR, WDFW, USFS, and now TNC (formerly Plum Creek Timberlands). The landscape transitions from shrub-steppe foothills to dry ponderosa pine forests to dry mixed conifer forest in lowlands and moist mixed conifer forest in the higher elevations and is home to several listed species including Northern Spotted Owl, Steelhead, and bull trout.
During fall of 2015, partners identified specific project areas and implementation work is started in some areas during summer 2016.
Following the Okanogan-Wenatchee Restoration Strategy, a landscape evaluation was completed in early 2015 followed by a series of land manager workshops and field tours to discuss priority areas based on the evaluation and the aquatic and terrestrial objectives agreed to by partners at the onset of planning. Based on additional analysis and feedback from partners, an updated publication was released in May 2016 “Manastash-Taneum Resilient Landscape Project: Landscape Evaluations and Prescriptions”.
Established in early 2013, the project working group within the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative formed to focus on restoration in the Little Naches watershed in coordination with the Naches Ranger District ID Team on approximately 100,000 acre national forest restoration project.
By 2014 the project working group had grown to about 40 members and established a steering committee made up of one representative from each of the six subgroups: Vegetation, Special Use Permits, Economics, Recreation, Wildlife, and Aquatics.
In March 2015 the first project to come out of this working group, the Little Crow project, went to scoping. For more information about this project check out these documents:
Tapash is working towards increasing the pace and scale of restoration in central Washington forests by collaborating on cross-boundary projects and through strategic land acquisitions in this checkerboarded landscape. Major acquisitions include the Tieton River (2007), Naches River (2011), Manastash (2013-2014), and the Heart of the Cascades (2014).
The Snag Canyon fire burned across 12,600 acres north of Ellensburg in August 2014 during Washington’s worst fire season on record. For comparison, the Carlton Complex fire burned over 246,000 acres of private, state, and federal land.
The Snag Canyon burn area included previously treated forest stands with 30-40 large trees per acre, as well as dense untreated stands with 300-400 trees per acre; post fire, the former still has the large trees standing while the latter experienced stand replacing fire. The Snag Canyon fire was able to be held in part thanks to previous forest restoration treatments done involving thinning and prescribed burning by the USFS in 2005 on about 200 acres.
The DNR contract harvest covered 1,019 acres and was offered as eight sorts involving 8,049 MBF of timber.