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George A. Woolsey, Wade T. Tinkham, Michael A. Battaglia, Chad M. Hoffman
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Mechanical treatments
Management Approaches

NRFSN number: 26690
Record updated:

The USDA Forest Service recently launched a Wildfire Crisis Strategy outlining objectives to safeguard communities and other values at risk by substantially increasing the pace and scale of fuel reduction treatment. This analysis quantified layered operational constraints to mechanical fuel reduction treatments, including existing vegetation, protected areas, steep slopes, and administrative boundaries in twenty-one prioritized landscapes. Results suggest that achieving the objective to treat 20%-40% of high-risk area is unlikely in most landscapes under a business-as-usual approach to mechanical fuel reduction treatments. Increased investment in steep-slope systems and expanded road access opens sufficient acreage to meet treatment objectives in eighteen of twenty-one priority landscapes. Achieving treatment objectives in the remaining three landscapes will require both increased investment to overcome physical constraints and navigating administrative complexities within reserved land allocations to implement fuels treatments at the pace and scale needed to moderate fire risk to communities.


Woolsey GA, Tinkham WT, Battaglia MA, and Hoffman CM. 2024. Constraints on mechanical fuel reduction treatments in United States Forest Service Wildfire Crisis Strategy priority landscapes. Journal of Forestry, fvae012.

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