NAU School of Forestry Students help FWPP with monitoring effort

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FWPP and the NAU School of Forestry have turned Observatory Mesa into an outdoor learning laboratory for future forest managers and scientists! Thanks to the hard work of the ‘Forest Ecosystem Assessment’ class, permanent research plots have been established across Observatory Mesa.

The plots provide a range of biophysical monitoring data that will be compiled and tracked for multiple years to come. The data will help students, researchers, and managers track forest changes over time. The first report on the data is now available: Observatory Mesa results 2018

FWPP June 2018 Update

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FWPP progress was presented to the Flagstaff City Council and Coconino County Board of Supervisors during a joint session.

Jay Smith, the new Coconino County Director of Forest Restoration presented on how the County will become involved in forest thinning activities in our region. Paul Summerfelt, the FWPP project manager for the City, followed with a summer 2018 FWPP status update.

Watch the recorded presentations here: http://flagstaffaz.swagit.com/play/06042018-1720/#12

The FWPP PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here: FWPP-Council_Supervisors_June 4

 

FWPP monitoring report: 2018 Update

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The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project has updated its Monitoring Report this spring, 2018. The Monitoring Report was developed by FWPP staff, FWPP partner groups, subject matter experts, and input from Flagstaff stakeholder groups. The Report is organized around four frameworks that identify important aspects of the project to be monitored as implementation occurs. The frameworks are;

  1. Fire Behavior
  2. Hydrologic Response
  3. Socioeconomic
  4. Other Ongoing/Potential Monitoring Projects

The updated Monitoring Report is designed to assess the FWPP monitoring capacity and to track what has been addressed, what is currently being monitored, and where monitoring gaps exist.

Read the full document here: FWPP Monitoring Report update 2018

Tree thinning, drying rates, and insects!

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One of the most costly aspects of thinning around the Flagstaff area is the cost to transport the wood material. One idea is to allow cut trees to remain in the forest, giving them time to dry. As they lose moisture, they will also become less heavy which may present an opportunity to reduce the cost of transportation. See a preliminary report from an NAU School of Forestry graduate student exploring this question: Bundles Beetles – All sites complete report for Spring Summer and Fall 2017

NAU School of Forestry assisting with FWPP monitoring efforts

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FWPP and the NAU School of Forestry are working together to develop Observatory Mesa into an outdoor learning laboratory for future forest managers and scientists! Beginning in Fall of 2017, the ‘Forest Ecosystem Assessment class’ will be establishing permanent forestry plots across Observatory Mesa (Monitoring plots across Obervatory Mesa).

The plots will be used to gather a range of biophysical monitoring data that will be compiled and tracked for multiple years to come. The monitoring data will include variables such as ground fuel, coarse woody debris, understory vegetation and shrubs, tree density and volume, and standing dead trees (snags). Photo points will also be established to visually track forest changes over time.

The goal of the project will meet two major objectives; 1) to provide undergraduate NAU forestry students with technical knowledge, skills, and experience in gathering biophysical data, analyzing, and interpreting ecological data and 2) to provide a long term monitoring project for FWPP to track the effects of forest thinning activities on Observatory Mesa over time. Thank you NAU School of Forestry professors and students who have made this possible! We look forward to seeing the initial data that you collect this Fall.

NAU School of Forestry students collecting monitoring data on Observatory Mesa

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Best Management Practices Used to Minimize Impacts to Soils, Water Resources and Trails

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Ground-based thinning activities using mechanized equipment require the use of existing forest roads and the construction of new temporary roads to facilitate access to timber stands. In addition, whole-tree skidding of harvested trees requires a network of skid trails ending at landings where trees are delimbed and loaded onto trucks for transport to processing sites (mills, bioenergy facilities, etc.). These activities cause various types of disturbance to soils and ground cover that are mitigated through use of best management practices, known as “BMPs.” Fore more see: Best Management Practices_Final

FWPP Mexican Spotted Owl Monitoring Report 2015

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This report is provided by: USDA Forest Service – Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff Ranger District

The FWPP project proposes landscape scale restoration that has the potential to affect more than 15 known Mexican Spotted Owl (MSO) protected activity centers (PACs). PACs are intended to sustain and enhance areas that are presently, recently or historically occupied by breeding MSOs, and must be at least 600 acres (USFWS 2012). A PAC is not intended to encompass the entire home range of an owl (USFWS 2012). For more information about the MSO, please refer to the 2012 Recovery plan for the Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida), First Revision,
(USFWS 2012).

Included in this report are the results of the Flagstaff Ranger District 2015 MSO monitoring and inventory for the FWPP project area. For full report click here: 2015 FWPP MSO Monitoring Report_Final