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Elaine Oneil, University of Washington/CORRIM, eoneil@uw.edu (Presenter)
Kenneth Skog, , kskog@fs.fed.us
James McCarter, University of Washington, jmac@uw.edu
Bruce Lippke, University of Washington/CORRIM, blippke@uw.edu

 

A decision support tool was developed to identify treatments where the synergy between reduced fire risk and carbon management objectives is most likely to occur. The tool automated the process of extracting relevant stand and site data from 18,000 forest inventory plots covering major forest types in 11 western states. Each plot was simulated in FVS using 9 different management strategies. Random fire events based on historic fire occurrence by ecosystem type were included in the simulation in order to provide insight on where to prioritize management of fire prone ecosystems and to identify the thresholds for treatment effect based on forest inventory attributes at any given point in time. Data were sorted and summarized across state, ownership type, forest type, geographical region within state, and fire risk. The results provide a comparison of fire and carbon impacts by treatment type for the forest and for the product stream that comes from the forest under a given management regime. The CORRIM life cycle carbon-modeling framework was used to characterize outputs from treatments including products, and carbon offsets. Based on these analyses and summaries there are many forest types that can be expected to experience declining carbon stores from wildfire. Treatments can mitigate losses in forest carbon under some conditions. Treatments that produce long-lived products provide mitigation outside the forest, but do not necessarily reduce fire risk. Trade-offs between these goals will be discussed using representative examples from the databases generated using this decision support tool.