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

Plan.pdf>

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

Plan.pdf>

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.

Fire Management Plan for Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve

Organization: The Nature Conservancy

Contact person: Jeff Lougee, Director of Stewardship and Ecological Management

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Description: This fire management plan fulfills TNC’s requirements for an approved site fire management plan (Heumann 2012). This plan includes ecological goals, objectives and a program of actions to be implemented over the next five to ten years to: 

 

·       Restore and maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural variants 

·       Enhance habitat for nineteen lepidoptera and five shrubland and early successional birds

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

 

Management will continue to include mechanical treatments to reduce fuels and improve habitat combined with prescribed burns to maintain the pitch pine - scrub oak woodland community and structural types. Mechanical treatments will include mowing of dense tall scrub oak and timber harvesting to reduce canopy cover and remove encroaching fire intolerant tree species. Prescribed burning will be used to reduce residual fuels from mechanical treatments, to maintain the natural community and habitat by promoting the germination of pitch pine and the persistence of fire maintained plants, and to reduce fuels. This plan provides for an adaptive management approach to balance the ecological needs of the conservation targets and the need to reduce fuels. Monitoring, documenting methods, and reviewing results will direct future management. The Nature Conservancy will work with state and local partner organizations to reduce hazardous fuels and apply prescribed fire to maintain natural communities and rare species populations. 

Over the next five years, approximately 500 - 750 acres will be treated using mechanical fuel reduction methods and prescribed burning on Conservancy and partner-owned lands (Map 1). More areas may be treated depending on resources and the results of treatment of this first set of management units. The Nature Conservancy will also work with partner organizations and landowners to reduce fuels within the WUI.

Fire Behavior Reference Guide

National Wildfire Coordinating Group Reference Guide Website. The Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide (FBFRG) was developed as a hands-on user tool for field going Fire Behavior Analysts (FBANs) and Long Term Fire Analysts (LTANs) along with various operation personnel.  The guide contains helpful references to fuels, weather, fuel models and terrain features that are vital to field going fire managers.

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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)

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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.

Management Plan for Katama Plains Management area (sandplain grassland)

Organization: The Nature Conservancy

Contact: Karen Lombard, Director of Stewardship and Restoration

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Description:  This is a revised Management Plan for the 190 acre Katama Plains Conservation Area (KPCA) which represents one of New England’s largest and best remaining examples of sandplain grasslands, a globally rare natural community. The site also supports 18 rare or declining species of birds, invertebrates, and plants that depend upon the open grassy and shrubby habitat.