Wildland Fuel Management Options for the Central Plains of Martha’s Vineyard: Impacts on Fuel Loads, Fire Behavior and Rare Plant and Insect Species (Patterson, Clarke, Haggerty, et al. May 2005)

Manuel F. Correllus State Forest JFSP Report: "Wildland Fuel Management Options for the Central Plains of Martha’s Vineyard: Impacts on Fuel Loads, Fire Behavior and Rare Plant and Insect Species" (Patterson, Clarke, Haggerty, et al. May 2005) 


Eighty-three page final report submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation - 2005

Fire Management Plan for Montague Plain Wildlife Management Area (Clark and Patterson 2003)

Fire Management Plan for Montague Plain Wildlife Management Area (Clark and Patterson 2003)

Prepared for Massachusetts Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Environmental Law Enforcement Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

Prepared by Kennedy H. Clark and William A. Patterson III -University of Massachusetts

July, 2003


Montague Plain Wildlife Management Area (MPWMA) is a 1,512 acre property in western Massachusetts owned and managed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The primary purposes of the site are to protect and preserve an outstanding example of a xeric outwash pitch pine-scrub oak barren natural community and to provide public access for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and compatible recreational activities. This fire management plan (FMP) is a strategic plan that defines a program to manage wildland fire on MPWMA for ecological health and public safety. Fire management is needed at MPWMA to sustain and restore the health of the ecosystem and its component biota, and to protect on-site and off-site infrastructure and lives from wildfire.

MPWMA encompasses a glacial outwash sandplain with droughty soils supporting a pitch-pine - scrub oak community. The site also includes a hill with shallow, sandy loam soils that supports an oak dominated forest. One rare natural community and a number of rare plant, insect, and reptile species are known from the site. Pitch pine - scrub oak communities are the most fireprone vegetation types in New England, and significant evidence exists suggesting that fire was an important influencing factor on the vegetation of MPWMA for many years before European settlement. There are numerous fire and smoke sensitive areas surrounding the site including individual residences, businesses, highways, villages, and a small airport.

Fire Management Plan for the Maine Army National Guard Hollis Training Site, York County, Maine (Patterson and Duveneck revised 2004)

Prepared by: William A. Patterson III and Matthew J. Duveneck

Forestry Program
University of Massachusetts

Date: March, 1997 Revised: July, 2004


The modern fire management era began at the Maine Army National Guard Hollis Training Site in 1995 with initial efforts to characterize fuels and implement a prescribed burning program. The Hollis site is important ecologically because it supports unique Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak barrens vegetation which provides habitat for regionally rare moth, butterfly and plant species. The vegetation is adapted to fire, and fire suppression since the 1950’s has resulted in the vegetation becoming overgrown and in many areas dominated by gray birch, which shades out barrens species of lower stature and interferes with mobility during training exercises. Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak fuels are highly flammable, and infrequent fires lead to an increased hazard of catastrophic wildfire occurrence. A fire management plan completed in 1997 identified objectives including the reduction of fire hazard, increased mobility during training exercises, and the restoration and maintenance of pine barrens communities and rare species habitat. This plan provides documentation of the effectiveness of efforts to meet goals established in 1997 and provides guidance for future management activities.

A Vegetative Fuelbreak Protecting the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine – Acadia National Park, ME

Abstract: The Bar Harbor Fire of 1947 burned a total of 17,188 acres (10,000 in Acadia National Park), killed three people, and destroyed 237 homes and the Jackson Laboratory on Mount Desert Island, Maine. The fire caused 23 million dollars in damages (1947 dollars). The volatile conifer forest that covered much of Mount Desert Island and contributed to the intensity of the fire was replaced by early successional species. Acadia National Park is evaluating the potential for using a deciduous fuelbreak to prevent a future fire from causing comparable damage.

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Northeast Wildfire Risk Assessment -USDA Forest Service

The objectives of this assessment were to identify areas in the Northeast and Midwest that are prone to wildfire; identify where hazard mitigation practices would be most effective in reducing fire risk within each State; identify and prioritize Communities at Risk from wildfire and; focus resources in the areas of greatest need within each State.

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NE Pine Barrens Management Techniques

Management suggestions, protocols, and results for Pine Barrens managment techniques.  Specifically, there are fire prescriptions, narratives of completed fires, custom fuel models, and fuels data that have been collected at a variety of barrens sites.

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Author: William Patterson - UMASS NE Barrens management techniques

Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens: Cape Cod National Seashore

In 1986, the National Park Service, in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, initiated applied research on the effectiveness of varying season and frequency of treatments on forest composition, fuel loading, and fire behavior on sixty, 0.1 acre plots at the Lombard Paradise site. Flammable shrub understories have been treated by brush cutting (mowing) or prescribed fire in either the dormant (winter) or growing (summer) season. All treatments are replicated three times, with treatments applied at 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-year intervals.

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Author: William Patterson - UMASS Fuel Demonstration Sites

Managing Fuels in Northeastern Barrens: Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area

Starting in 2000, small prescribed burns have been conducted on a portion of the Montague Plains WMA for ecological management and training purposes. Two main areas of management and research have been ongoing at the Plains since 2000: pitch pine crown fuels characterization and crown fire behavior prediction, and scrub oak fuels and biodiversity management.

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Author: William Patterson - UMASS Fuel Demonstration Sites

Pine River State Forest Fire and Ecological Management Plan

Agency/Organization: NH Division of Forest and Lands, Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC)


Description:The purpose of the Pine River State Forest fire management plan is to identify areas within Pine River which will be managed with a combination of prescribed fire, timber harvesting, and mowing to restore significant areas of pitch pine - sandplain natural communities. Management goals and objectives, and the actions that will be implemented within portions of Pine River State Forest over the next five to ten years are discussed. The purpose of this plan is to serve as a guiding document for the Forest Management and Natural Heritage Bureaus within the Division of Forests and Lands. The plan is meant to be a working document that is modified as more knowledge and research is discovered. Key aspects of an ecological and fire management approach at Pine River are to: 


·      Maintain the pitch pine sandplain natural communities that occur on the Forest 

·      Enhance habitat for rare and state-listed Lepidoptera, early successional and shrubland nesting birds, and other wildlife species for which critical habitat is present on the Forest 

·      Manage fuels to reduce the potential for wildfire that may threaten life and property 


Management actions will include mechanical treatments to reduce fuels and improve habitat, and prescribed burns to maintain the pitch pine sandplain natural communities. Mechanical fuel reduction and treatments will include mowing of dense tall scrub oak and other trees and shrubs, and timber harvests to reduce canopy cover in selected areas to promote the recruitment and retention of plant species associated with the rare pitch pine sandplain types. Prescribed burning will be used to reduce residualfuels from mechanical treatments, to maintain the unique natural communities and habitats, and to reduce fuels. This plan provides for an adaptive management approach to balance the ecological needs of the unique natural communities and associated wildlife species with the need to reduce fuels. Monitoring, documenting methods, and reviewing results will direct future management. 

The Division of Forests and Lands will work with partner organizations to reduce hazardous fuels and apply prescribed fire to maintain natural communities and rare species populations in at least the six Special Management Areas (SMA’s). Over the next five years, approximately 254 acres will be treated using mechanical fuel reduction methods and prescribed burning (Map 2). More areas may be treated depending on resources and the results of treatment of this first set of management units. The Division of Forests and Lands will also work with partner organizations and landowners to reduce fuels within wildland urban interface areas.

An Assessment of the Impact of Fire on Rare Lepidoptera in the Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve

Abstract: The Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), was once part of a much larger pine barrens ecosystem. Currently, the pine barrens stretch across the towns of Madison, Freedom, Ossipee, and Tamworth in Carroll County, New Hampshire. The pine barrens ecosystem is an imperiled rare natural community that was historically maintained by fire. Pitch pine, the dominant tree in the pine barrens, is well adapted to a fire regime. Scrub oak and blueberry, the dominant shrub and ground cover, can also flourish post-fire. 

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Monitoring Protocols for the Ossipee and Waterboro Pine Barrens

Abstract: Fire suppression during the last 50-100 years has changed the composition and structure of northeastern pine barrens, a globally rare and fire-dependent natural community that provides habitat for numerous rare and declining Lepidopteran, plant and early successional/shrubland bird species. These changes have resulted in a number of deleterious effects to the natural community, including an increase in canopy cover and organic soils and the proliferation of tree species less tolerant of fire (such as red maple, white pine, red oak, aspen, and American beech).

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