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Large landscape level projects often employ different actions and options for success, including those listed below.
Mechanical treatment of hazardous fuels means reducing the amount of vegetation that has built up over time to dangerous levels, or changing the arrangement of these fuels in the environment. Mechanical treatments can benefit ecosystems and people by:
- Reducing the probability of catastrophic fires;
- Helping maintain and restore healthy and resilient ecosystems; and
- Protecting human communities.
Examples of mechanical treatment include the thinning of dense stands of trees or other fuel treatments that make an area better able to withstand fire. Such treatments might be piling brush, pruning lower branches of trees, or creating fuel breaks to encourage the right kind of fire.
A prescribed fire is any fire ignited by management actions under certain predetermined conditions to meet specific objectives related to hazardous fuels reduction or habitat improvement. A written, approved prescribed fire plan must exist, and NEPA requirements must be met prior to ignition. Prescribed fires are ignited and managed within a window of very specific conditions, including winds, temperatures, humidity, and other factors specified in the burn plan. Prescribed fire is also referred to as a controlled burn or prescribed burn.
Within the Forest Service, partnerships are often broadly defined as relationships between people, organizations, agencies, and communities that work together and share interests. The Forest Service regularly works in partnership with other entities, including tribes, states, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and communities. However, it is important to understand that the word partnership also has a more precise meaning according to federal policy. Federal policy defines partnerships as “arrangements that are voluntary, mutually beneficial and entered into for the purpose of mutually agreed upon objectives.” In this definition, mutual benefit specifically means that each partner shares in the benefits the project provides.
Community wildfire protection plans (CWPP)
A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is a plan developed in the collaborative framework established by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council and agreed to by state, tribal, and local government, the local fire department, other stakeholders, and federal land management agencies managing land in the vicinity of the planning area. A CWPP identifies and prioritizes areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments, recommends the types and methods of treatment on federal and non-federal land that will protect one or more at-risk communities and essential infrastructure, and recommends measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the at-risk community. A CWPP may address issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection—or all of the above.
- A Fire-Adapted Community (FAC) is a human community consisting of informed and prepared citizens collaboratively planning and taking action to safely co-exist with wildland fire.
- The Firewise Community program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourage neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. They are key components of FACs.
Selling timber and other forest products to commercial markets fosters resilient, adaptive ecosystems to mitigate climate change, mitigate wildfire risk, and strengthen communities. Forest products include materials derived from a forest for commercial and personal use (such as lumber, paper, and firewood), as well as “special forest products” (such as medicinal herbs, fungi, edible fruits and nuts, and other natural products).
In natural resource management, collaboration increasingly refers to a process where groups with different interests come together to address management issues across a specified geographic region (e.g., forest, watershed, or landscape). In other words, the goal of collaboration is to build and promote a collective vision for how to manage the land. Through collaboration, groups that may disagree are able to explore their differences, identify common interests, and seek common-ground solutions. A collaborative relationship may be documented through a formal arrangement, but often it is not. It is important to note that well-defined collaborative processes do not transfer government authority—government agencies remain responsible for their actions and retain their decision-making authority.
Manage natural fire
The management of naturally ignited (usually by lightning) wildland fires to accomplish specific pre-stated resource management objectives in predefined areas outlined in Fire Management Plans.
Occasionally, communities and organizations take action that is unique and specialized to the problem at hand. These are categorized as "Other" within the WFLC Virtual Center of Excellence.