Lessons from a Successful Field Tour

Contributed By Liz Davy, Island Park District Ranger Recently, I had the opportunity to interface with a group of landowners who did not appreciate how I was managing the National Forest adjacent to their homes. We had several previous meetings in an office or home setting, but this time we went to the woods to look at the success we had with our prescribed burn. The objective of the project was to enhance aspen in a particular area through a prescribed burn. We wanted to remove conifers from the aspen, kill mature aspen trees and stimulate aspen regeneration through suckering. … Continue reading

Individual and Community Preparedness Award

Earlier this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the winners of the 2014 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. We’re excited to share that among the recipients was one of the FAC Learning Network hubs, the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP).  CUSP was recognized as one of two “Community Preparedness Heroes” based on their outstanding cross-disciplinary environmental work, including their post-fire flooding recovery efforts following the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire. Jonathan Bruno, Chief Operating Officer for the CUSP, shared the following thoughts in his recent blog post for the Community Preparedness Champions of Change.  “Everyone is … Continue reading

Approaching Relationships with Landowners

Dave, The Watershed Center’s Forestry, Fire and Fuels Program Manager, came into the office yesterday wiping the sweat from his forehead. He’d spent the better part of the day driving out to meet a landowner in a remote corner of Trinity County (where remote means a couple of hours from the nearest gas station).  Dave has been working with landowners throughout the County to develop burn plans that we’ll implement as part of an upcoming TREX training exchange. Working with landowners isn’t easy. Dave’s had to put in the time cultivating relationships with people, at times traveling long distances to … Continue reading

Redstone Canyon – A Mitigation Success Story

In the spirit of sharing mitigation success stories, such as the prescribed fire that helped moderate the behavior of the recent wildfire threatening Weaverville, California, we are highlighting another story that came through our FAC channels this summer. The following story has been adapted from a previously published version. This success story showcases Redstone Canyon, an unincorporated community in Larimer County, Colorado with about 85 residences that are scattered throughout the 6,800-acre canyon. A seven-mile-long county road provides main access up the canyon, and there are an additional 24 miles of privately maintained roads accessing homes on the upper slopes. … Continue reading

The FAC Network is hiring!

We’re looking for a part time Program Assistant to work on FAC Network logistics and communications. The ideal candidate will be creative and organized with skills and experience developing and maintaining websites and other forms of remote communication. The FAC Network is a nationwide effort; we will be considering candidates based in locations throughout the US. Learn more about the opportunity by visiting: http://www.thewatershedcenter.com/?page_id=90. There you’ll find a full job description and instructions for applying. Please share this announcement with your networks and friends!

It takes all three to protect a community

OR fire-5 cent Rx

My home and neighborhood in Weaverville, CA was spared destruction by the Oregon Fire on the afternoon of Sunday, August 24, 2014.  Only a couple of hours after ignition, over 200 homes were under mandatory evacuation.  The narrative about why only one structure was lost, and no one was seriously hurt in this fast-moving WUI fire could focus on any of several factors.  Was it the timely and effective fire suppression response?  Or maybe the prescribed burn executed last fall that slowed the flaming front? Or perhaps the years of preparation local leaders and residents have engaged in to make … Continue reading

Tips to enhance online FAC Network meetings

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network is made up of hubs, local and regional partners, and coordinating team members that are located in all corners of the country. The diversity of participants adds value to the network by promoting different perspectives and experiences. The nature of a national network, however, requires us to lean heavily on conference calls, webinars, and other means of remote and online communication. Anyone who has facilitated or participated in an online meeting knows that these forums bring their own set of challenges. To ensure our online activities keep network participants engaged and maximize our productive … Continue reading

Fire Adapted Communities: On the Front Lines in Ely, Minnesota

by Katie Fernholz, Gloria Erickson and Matt Frank – Dovetail Partners Each community in every region has its own relationship to wildfire risks. There are common themes – wildfire season, fuel loading, preparedness plans, etc. – but local conditions make for local needs, challenges, and opportunities. In Minnesota, even with 11,842 lakes over 10 acres in size, wildfire is still a threat. One area of the state that can be described as being on the “frontlines” of local wildfire risk is Ely, Minnesota. The community is within hiking distance of the Canadian border and a little over a 4-hour drive … Continue reading