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

Film Screening of “Era of Mega Fires” at Science on Tap

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Please join us on June 21st, from 6:30 – 8:00pm at the Green Room in downtown Flagstaff for a screening of the film “Era of Mega Fires”. This film, collaboratively produced by the US Forest Service and North40 Production, discusses the growing trend in large, high severity wildfire across the Western United States.

The film traces the past forest management practices over the last 100 years that have led to the current problem, an “epidemic of trees”. The film discusses several ways local communities can take action to increase the health of the forest, and protect their communities from damaging wildfire.

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:

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


Can cities be saved from wildfires? Flagstaff, Arizona, offers a case study

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The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project is featured as a case study in this article published by the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE). The article retraces the history of FWPP and the current status of FWPP implementation. The article also highlights similar projects occuring in Ashland, Oregon and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The article identifies the common successes and challenges of this type of work across the West.

Read the full article here:

Getting Ready: Catastrophic Wildfire in the American West

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Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney discusses wildfire threats in Arizona, and what communities and  land managers are doing to address the threat. In the interview with Carpe Diem West, Mr Whitney highlights several projects across Arizona, including the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project!

Flagstaff’s decision to tax itself is a great example of what we must all do to protect our communities-take responsibility for the health of our forests and watersheds. Whether or not communities decide to tax themselves it will take similar initiative to get the job done. It’s something that we all have to decide is important.”

Read the full interview here:

Getting Ready: Catastrophic Wildfire in the American West ~ An Interview with Jeff Whitney

Flagstaff watershed protection project lands bidder for timber sale!

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The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) made marked progress last week after a Phoenix-based logging company successfully bid to take over a timber sale contract of 642 acres that had not been completed by a prior contractor in the area of Schultz Creek along the base of Mount Elden.

Dakota Logging LLC, the high bidder, has one year to complete the work, which will involve closure of areas and trails in the immediate logging area as work progresses. See the official press release from the Coconino National Forest:  COC-NR-5-8-18-TimberBid


Bids Received for FWPP Phase 1 Mechanical!

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The FWPP Phase 1 mechanical thinning contract was again advertised for rebid during a 30 day period from March 31st to April 30th, 2018. Sealed bids were opened in public at the Coconino National Forest Office at 10 a.m. local time on May 1st, 2018.

Bids for the second offering of the FWPP Phase 1 timber sale were received, and the Forest Service is in the process of awarding the Phase 1 contract to the apparent high bidder.

For more details, please read our update: FWPP Mechanical Phase 1 Update 5_3

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

FWPP Phase 1 Update

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On March 31st, 2018 the US Forest Service reoffered the FWPP Phase 1 (Elden Base) Timber Sale Contract.   This 642-acre area is at the base of Mt Elden: it was previously sold but ended with little work completed this past December.   The Coconino National Forest will open bids on May 1st, 2018.   The sale period is for up to one year.


For further information on this sale, please contact the Flagstaff Ranger District, 5075 N. Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, (928)-527-3600, or the Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1827 S. Thompson St. Flagstaff, AZ 86001, (928) 527-3600.

Got Water? Thank (And Save) A Forest

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“When the well’s dry,” Benjamin Franklin once said, “we know the worth of water.” Today, our freshwater supplies face serious threats — including drought, wildfire, and other impacts of a warming climate. -Excerpt from article

Read this compelling article published by Water Online which is co-written by Maggie Hart Stebbins (Bernillo County Commissioner), and Paul Summerfelt (Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project Manager). Water Online is a “leading source of technical information and thought leadership for the drinking water and wastewater treatment community”.

Read the full article here: