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Local Presentations in New Mexico: Climate change, fire, and potential type conversions in the Southwestern U.S.

Presenter: Sean Parks, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, USFS RMRS

Coordinated by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.

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Wildland fire is a pervasive disturbance agent on the Gila NF and beyond. Consequently, understanding those factors that drive historic and contemporary fire regimes provides insight as to what we might expect in future decades as the climate continues to warm. In this presentation, I will discuss a few studies that have been recently completed or are currently underway. The first pertains to an evaluation of the drivers and distribution of high-severity fire; I will highlight the corresponding geospatial maps that predict the probability of high-severity fire in your area and discuss how these maps can be used for planning purposes. I will also showcase a study that evaluated potential climate-induced changes in fire regime characteristics and vegetation types; this study suggests that some areas currently forested in New Mexico will convert to non-forest in future decades. Lastly, I will discuss the potential for fire-facilitated conversion from forest to non-forest in New Mexico and beyond. I look forward to sharing my research, hearing your feedback, discussing ways to improve future research efforts.

Presentation schedule:
Monday, September 10, 11:00am-1:00pm: Santa Fe NF Supervisor’s Office, Conference Room A, Santa Fe, NM
Tuesday, September 11, 11:00am – 12:15pm: New Mexico Highlands University, Lora Shields Building room #215, Las Vegas, NM
Thursday, September 13, 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Grant County Conference Center, 3031 Highway 180 East, Silver City, NM

Here is list of papers that are relevant to this presentation:
High severity fire: evaluating its key drivers and mapping its probability across western US forests
What drives low-severity fire in the Southwestern USA?
Analog-based fire regime and vegetation shifts in mountainous regions of the western US