Top researchers from across disciplines have come together to release a report, A Statement of Common Ground Regarding the Role of Wildfire in Forested Landscapes of the Western United States. The focus of this report is to identify common ground in fire research among scientists and to provide a summary that can inform management. There is “wide agreement among scientists that fire is one of the most essential influences on western forests and more fire is needed on most landscapes, but not all wildfire behavior or extent will do” (Moritz et al. 2018). As a land manager, scientists, or member of the interested public who care about the future of our forests, this report is an extremely important analysis that takes on the identification of common ground in fire science and explores areas of disagreement among researches and why.
In an effort to better understand available fire science, it’s applicability in your region and how to use research to inform land management decisions, the report encourages “scientists who do not share similar perspectives on historical fire regimes in particular ecosystems to engage in civil discourse to better understand the reasons for their disagreement, and to objectively communicate those reasons to managers and other stakeholders” (Moritz et al. 2018).
The full report is available below. This is particularly important for the members of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition, the Santa Fe Watershed Association, and New Mexico in general as one of the main authors is Dr. Craig Allen who is a the leading ponderosa pine fire ecologist whose work goes back more than 30 years in the Jemez Mountains. We encourage you to read it, if not just the Executive Summary (pages 2-7).
Reference: Moritz, M.A., C. Topik, C.D. Allen, P.F. Hessburg, P. Morgan, D.C. Odion, T.T. Veblen, and I.M. McCullough. 2018. A Statement of Common Ground Regarding the Role of Wildfire in Forested Landscapes of the Western United States. Fire Research Consensus Working Group Final Report.