WILDLIFE AND FIRE IN THE WILDLAND
April 18–19, 2006
The Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society
The Riverhouse—Bend, Oregon
There is a growing concern and emphasis regarding large wildfires in the western US,
particularly where human lives, homes, buildings and other infrastructure are at risk.
There is a parallel concern for wildlife populations and habitats in low and moderate
elevations where human development has had profound detrimental effects. This two-day
workshop focuses on integrating wildlife needs into the wildland urban interface, and
explores techniques for managing forests and rangelands that border human communities,
while maintaining the integrity of the landscape for wildlife.
Date/Time Event Affiliation & Topic
April 18th, 2006 Workshop
8:00 am-9:30 am Registration
9:30 am-10:00 am Mark Penninger US Forest Service:
10:00 am – 10:45 Mark Henjum Retired ODFW, BMEI
Wildlife issues in the
10:45 – 11:05 am Break AM Coffee break
11:05 am-11:50 Chris Hoff Central Oregon Fire
Habitat Concerns in
11:50 -12:30 pm Gregg Riegel US Forest Service:
Fire, Wildlife &
12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch on your own River Rock Grill &
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm James McIver OR State University:
Fire Surrogate Study
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm Steve Zack Wildlife
Society: Forest Wildlife
in the WUI Context
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Break – soda/snacks
3:45 pm – 4:30 pm Stephen OSU Extension:
Fitzgerald Fire Resistant Stands
4:30 pm – 5:15 pm Dan Crittenden US Forest Service,
WO: LandFire mapping
Time Event Affiliation & Topic
April19th,2006 Tom Andrade ODF: Oregon‘s
8:00 am-9:00 am Response to an
Glen Ardt ODFW: Can Forest
9:00 am – 9:45 am Wildlife Guidelines be
Used in the WUI?
Break - coffee
9:45 am-10:15 am
Oshana Lomakatsi Restoration
10:15 am-10:45 am Catranides Project: Ecological
Principles for Restoration
and Fuels Reduction
10:45 am– 11:30 am Kirk Metzger US Forest Service:
Values in the WUI
Mark Penninger, US Forest Service,
11:30 am – 12:00 Nancy Breuner ODFW: Close out,
Lunch on your own River Rock Grill &
Workshop Planning Committee:
Tom Andrade—Oregon’s Response to an Escalating Interface Fire Situation: The
Oregon Forestland Urban Interface Fire Protection Act of 1997 (aka SB-360)
The state of Oregon passed legislation in late 1997 in response to citizen,
community leaders and fire service managers' concerns that Oregon‘s interface fire
problems were growing at an alarming rate. However, unlike other western states,
Oregon took the formation of the interface rules to the citizens of Oregon. There
were 28 public meetings held throughout the state between 1998 and the turn of the
century. The results crafted a unique approach to generating defensibility aimed at
protecting homes in our fire-prone forestland/urban interface areas. The protection
formulas are based on fire research conducted by a variety of organizations
including US Forest Service researchers Jack Cohen and Jim Saveland. The Oregon
Department of Forestry (ODF) was assigned the lead in developing and
implementing the new rules. Based on agency and public input, highly unique
elements evolved during the development of the specific rules and treatment
formulas, which included:
Each county will collaborate with ODF to identify hazard and risk ratings
through the appointment and utilization of a classification committee.
Homeowners must individually certify their property within two years of
being notified of the hazard and risk rating.
Homes will have to be recertified every five years along with county
classification committees reconvening to reassess any changes to hazard and
The rules are voluntary; homeowners can opt not to take advantage of the
treatment standards however, if a property is not certified and a fire occurs, the
homeowner could receive a fire suppression bill of up to $100,000.00. Beginning in
2003, ODF began implementing SB-360 in two counties, Deschutes and Jefferson.
Since then, nine other counties have started the collaborative process of
implementing the new rules in partnership with county administrators. Ultimately
the Oregon Forestland-Urban Interface Fire protection Act will be fully
implemented statewide by 2011.
Tom Andrade serves as an Interface Fire Specialist for the Central Oregon
District of the Oregon Department of Forestry. During his career of over 40 years he
has worked in fire and law enforcement in both California and Oregon. He has held
positions of Engine Captain, Fuel Management Officer, Fire Prevention Officer,
Assistant Fire Management Officer, District Fire Management Officer, Special
Agent, and Deputy Fire Management Officer for operations.
Tom graduated form California State University at Sacramento in 1970 with a BS
degree in Environmental Resource Management. Additionally he has served in
various incident management positions, including Fire Boss, Incident Commander,
Air Attack Group Supervisor, Operations Section Chief, and Planning Section Chief
on type I and type II incident management teams.
Having served as primary district or forest staff since 1978, Tom has worked closely
with interdisciplinary teams developing fuel treatment strategies, environmental
assessments, and environmental impact statements. He is a proponent of
reintroducing fire into our vast, western ecosystems and in designing and managing
safe wildland/urban interface communities.
During the late 70s and early 80s he was actively involved in ICS course
development and ICS conversion training while stationed in California. In addition
to having worked for the US Forest Service, currently working for the Oregon
Department of Forestry, Tom also serves on the Forest Resource facility at Central
Oregon Community College teaching wildland fire science and fuel management
Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Bend, Oregon, Thomas.Andrade@state.or.us, (541) 549-
Glen Ardt—Can Forest Wildlife Guidelines be Used in the WUI?
Wildlife need adequate food, water, shelter, and space (home range) in order to
survive, reproduce, and raise young. There are well over 350 species of wildlife
associated with the forests and rangelands in Central Oregon. Wildlife meet their
basic needs through habitat compartmentalization (niche). Wildlife managers
provide for these needs by managing the landscape to create a mosaic of horizontal
and vertical structures. I‘ll discuss a few of these structural needs by looking at
habitat requirements for golden-mantled ground squirrels and green-tailed towhees
for wildlife that use ground and shrub structures; black-backed and white-headed
woodpeckers for cavity excavators; and mule deer for species with large home
ranges. Key vegetative components are patches of mature shrubs; large (>9‖ dbh)
snags and down logs, forested cover patches, and habitat connectivity with minimal
harassment. To meet wildlife objectives while addressing Wildland Urban Interface
wildfire concerns at the stand scale, trees, shrubs, snags, down wood, vertical and
horizontal structure and connectivity corridors can, for the most part, be provided
by managing habitat components adjacent to one another. From a fuels perspective,
habitat components would function independently (i.e., shrubs are adjacent to forest
stands (forest gaps) instead of underneath forest stands). At the landscape scale
models such as Fireshed and SPOTs (strategic placement of treatments) can be
used to more effectively meet multiple objectives.
Wildlife Habitat Response Model—
Demonstration and Test of a Spatial Decision Support System for Forest
Glen Ardt is a Wildlife Habitat Biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife in the Deschutes Subbasin. He graduated from Oregon State University
with a BS in Wildlife Science, and is a career employee with Oregon Department of
Fish and Wildlife.
Glen worked on habitat projects in NE Oregon, NW Oregon, managed a waterfowl
area in Klamath Falls, and since 1998 has worked with the Forest Service and BLM
on fuel reduction projects, in addition to forest health projects, allotment
management reviews, OHV activities, juniper management, hydro-relicensing,
destination resort siting, highway wildlife conflicts, subbasin planning, etc.
One of the things Glen likes about his job is having the opportunity to interact with
varied interests with differing views which allows him to gain new perspectives
about the environment we live, work, and play in.
Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Bend, Oregon. Glen.T.Ardt@state.or.us, 541-388-
6444 ext. 30
Oshana Catranides—Ecological Principles for Restoration and Fuels
Lomakatsi Restoration Project was established in 1995 as a non-profit organization,
which educates, organizes and involves communities in ecological restoration of
forests and watersheds in southern Oregon and northern California. Lomakatsi
guides its work according to its "Ecological Principles for Restoration and Fuels
Reduction," a written guideline for landowners and communities describing our
approach to implementing ecological fuels reduction projects in the Wildland Urban
Interface. Lomakatsi's ecological fuels reduction practices work to improve forest
health, increase fire resiliency, reduce crown fire potential, and enhance and protect
wildlife habitat, while still significantly reducing wildfire potential. Oshana's
presentation will outline how Lomakatsi's ecological fuels reduction projects have
made considerations for safeguarding and enhancing wildlife habitat in Wildland
Urban Interface communities of southwestern Oregon.
Oshana Catranides is the Executive Director of Lomakatsi Restoration Project.
After becoming involved with Lomakatsi as a volunteer in the year 2000, Oshana
soon became a board member. She held the position of Board President during
2001-02, and was chosen as Executive Director for the organization from 2003 until
the present time. Oshana is also a mother and grandmother who has lived and
worked in southwestern Oregon for over 30 years. She worked as a kindergarten
teacher and the Administrator of the "Dome School" in the rural community of
Takilma, Oregon for eight years. During this time she began grant writing and
developing programs to bring special services to the community's handicapped and
developmentally delayed children. Oshana later participated in the University of
Oregon program, "Resource Assistance to Rural Environments", for which she
received a Governor's commendation for her service. Oshana also worked for four
years as a community development grant writer for the Illinois Valley Community
Response Team in Cave Junction. She strongly advocates linking children and
youth with the environment, and has been proactive in educating diverse
communities about Lomakatsi's ecological principles for forest and watershed
restoration. Oshana is currently pursuing her master's degree in environment and
community, and she enjoys hiking, camping, birding, snowshoeing, traveling,
playing music, and living in the Cascade-Klamath-Siskiyou eco-region.
Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Ashland, Oregon. Oshana@lomakatsi.org, (541)488-
Dan Crittenden—LANDFIRE Mapping
TOPIC: LANDFIRE Deliverables and Expectations
Common understanding and expectation for the development and delivery of
LANDFIRE data sets.
Common understanding of the Executive Charter and associated roles and
responsibilities of WFLC, Executive Oversight Committee, Business Leads,
Project Manager and Program managers.
Common understanding for the scale and use of LANDFIRE data by the various
user groups ( States, USFS, USFWS, BLM, BIA, and NPS)
BACKGROUND: LANDFIRE is multi-partner wildland fire, ecosystem, and fuel
mapping project that will generate nationally consistent, comprehensive, landscape-
scale maps and data describing vegetation, fire, and fuels characteristics across the
United States. These maps are produced at scales fine enough for prioritizing and
planning specific hazardous fuels reduction and ecosystem restoration projects. The
consistency of LANDFIRE methods ensures that data will be nationally relevant,
while the 30 meter grid resolution assures that data can be locally applicable.
Basic LANDFIRE data sets are broken down into 3 bins. The first bin provides the
various inputs into the current suite of fire behavior predictive models (FLAMMAP,
FARSITE, etc). These layers provide opportunities for real time fire behavior
predictions as well as modeling layers for planning such as the strategic placement
of treatments (SPOT analysis). The second bin describes and enhances the current
Fire Regime Condition Class and establishes a base line for ecological departure
and long term monitoring. The final bin of data provides input into the current
suite of Fire Effects models.
How will LANDFIRE interact with Forest Service current data sets, and how much
more will it cost to update and feed LANDFIRE?
Why won‘t our existing datasets (NRIS, FACTS, Ecological plots) answer the same
questions that LANDFIRE addresses?
Why should the National Forest pay for LANDFIRE on State and Private Lands
Daniel Crittenden – no biography available. US Forest Service, Washington
Office, Washington, DC. (202) 205-1494, Daniel Crittenden/WO/USDAFS
Stephen Fitzgerald—Fire Resistant Stands and Wildlife
Abstract provided at workshop.
Stephen Fitzgerald is a professor in the Department of Forest Resources at
Oregon State University. He works off campus as the Eastern Oregon Silviculture
and Wildland Fire Education Specialist for the Extension Forestry Program.
Stephen received his B.S. in Forest Biology from the State University of New York
College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1979, and M.S. in Forest
Management at the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Range Sciences at the
University of Idaho in 1983.
Fitzgerald has been an Extension Faculty member since 1984 first working on the
southcoast of Oregon from 1984 to 1988. Since 1988 Fitzgerald has worked in the
dryer forest ecosystems of central and eastern Oregon.
His work involves developing and delivering educational programs to professional
resource managers, Extension faculty, woodland owners, loggers, decision-makers,
and the general public.
Fitzgerald conducts applied research in the dry forest types of central and eastern.
His research interest include fire ecology of interior forests; management of interior
old-growth forests; fuel reduction treatments; post-fire recovery; uneven-age
management in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests; density management; forest
regeneration of harsh sites; tree and forest health.
Fitzgerald has published 2 books and numerous extension publications and
Fitzgerald is a 26-year member of the Society of American Foresters and was
elected Fellow in 1999, and he currently serves on the Oregon SAF Policy
Committee. He is also a member of several other professional societies including:
Northwest Scientific Association; Society for Range Management; International
Society of Arboriculture; Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals;
and the OSU Extension Association.
Fitzgerald has received several awards during his career including:
2003 Research Award from the Oregon Society of American Foresters
2002 Education Award from the Association of Natural Resources
1996 Experienced Faculty Award from the OSU Extension Association
1993 Search for Excellence Award from the OSU Extension Association
Oregon State University Extension, Bend, Oregon.
email@example.com, (541)548-6088 ext. 7955
Mark Henjum—Wildlife in the WUI: Framing the Issue
Wildlife biologists recognize the challenges forest managers face in managing fire and fuels
in the wildland–urban interface (WUI). Protection of people and property and ensuring
firefighter safety are essential in this effort. At the same time, fuels management
prescriptions in the WUI have implications for a wide variety of wildlife species across the
western landscape. Much of the forest structure selected for wildlife retention including
snags, large woody debris and dense cover stands are in direct conflict with fire/fuels
management goals. For example, many WUIs overlap recognized big game winter range
areas. Thinning large areas of forest cover may force wintering ungulates to lower
elevations resulting in increased conflict and damage losses for neighbors. Subsequent
green-up of thinned areas may attract ungulates for longer periods during spring-summer,
increasing the potential for damage to adjacent property or crops. Close coordination with
ungulate managers could reduce such unintended consequences. Integrating wildlife needs
in the WUI while reducing fire threats to people and their property can be achieved through
intensive planning and close cooperation between resource disciplines.
Mark Henjum worked as a wildlife biologist with the Oregon Dept. of Fish and
Wildlife from 1976 until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure with ODFW he
was assistant district fish and wildlife biologist in La Grande, and project leader for
the Blue Mountains black bear study and for the Catherine Creek Mountain Lion
Study. Mark worked as the regional nongame biologist for the NE region for 18
years, and the final task in his ODFW career was Wolf Program Coordinator. He
now works part time with the USFS as the Blue Mountain Elk Initiative
US Forest Service, Blue Mountain Elk Initiative, La Grande, Oregon.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (541) 663-8768
Chris Hoff—Fuels Management/Wildlife Habitat Concerns in Central
Fire regimes and fire condition classes within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) are
discussed. Central Oregon contains some of the most flammable and dangerous fuel
conditions within the Pacific Northwest. Past suppression actions and the lack of adequate
fuels treatments have resulted in abnormally high fuel loadings. This increase in fuel
concentration presents a high risk of future catastrophic fires in the area such as the Davis
and B&B fires that occurred in 2003. Wildfires within the Western United States continue
to increase in size and intensity. As more of the public moves into interface areas, the
likelihood of a major catastrophe increases. Large fuels treatments that are strategically
placed on the landscape are needed to reduce the intensity of fire behavior and the
associated loss of wildlife habitat. These large treatments often conflict with wildlife
habitat needs (mule deer winter range) making fuels management difficult. Common
ground is needed in future management that assures adequate fuels treatments that
reduce the likelihood of large catastrophic wildfires but also maintains the integrity of
wildlife habitat needs.
Chris Hoff began his career as a Wildlife Biologist in Havre, Montana for the Bureau of
Land Management. He worked in wildlife and fire management throughout his career, later
moving to Miles City, Montana as a program lead in Wildlife/Fisheries. In 1997 he became
the Fire Management Officer for the BLM in Butte, Montana. He subsequently transferred
to Prineville, Oregon in 2002 where he currently serves as the Interagency Fire
Management Officer for Central Oregon Fire Management Service (COFMS). This includes
the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest and the Prineville District of the BLM. He has
worked on numerous Incident Management Teams throughout his career and is currently
qualified as a Type 1 Incident Commander. He earned a B.S. and M.S. from Humboldt
State University majoring in Wildlife Management.
Central OR Fire Mgmt Service, Prineville, Oregon. Christopher_Hoff@blm.gov,
James McIver—Fire Surrogate Study
No abstract available
James McIver is on the research faculty at Oregon State University, working out of
the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, near La Grande, Oregon. Jim is
trained as an entomologist, and in addition to work on the ecology of insects, he is
involved in fire and fire surrogate research in dry forests and in sagebrush steppe
systems, and also studies the environmental effects of postfire logging.
OSU -- Eastern Oregon Agriculture Research Center, P.O. Box E Union, Oregon 97883.
email@example.com, (541) 562-5396
Kirk Metzger—Integrating Multiple Values in the WUI
The Sisters Ranger District is typical of many dry forests east of the Cascades where there
is an abundance of available fuels in a changing forest structure. The decrease in fire
occurrence has disrupted the ecological balance. Although homes in the path of a wildfire
are currently the most immediately recognized value at risk, severe wildfires put numerous
other values at risk including: critical infrastructure, fish and wildlife habitat, firefighter
and public safety, soil productivity, clean air, and a functioning fire adapted ecosystem. It is
a challenge to design a vegetation modification strategy that is effective in reducing fire
behavior in the WUI while leaving adequate wildlife habitat and other values intact. I will
discuss the multiple values in the WUI around Sisters and how we attempted to integrate
them into the project design on a landscape level. I will finish up with a brief assessment of
the inherent risk of an uncharacteristic wildfire to all the values and address the reality
that vegetation is ―fuel,‖ and sooner or later a fire is going to start at the wrong spot at the
Kirk works on Sisters Ranger District where he is involve in the analysis, planning and
implementation of fuels reduction protects. Kirk has worked for the USFS since 1972. His
career path stated in Fire suppression on the Prescott NF, he later worked as a Timber
Marker, Range Technician, Wildlife Technician, Wilderness Ranger (Three Sisters), Rivers
Ranger (BLM – Deschutes & John day) and now in Fuels Management.
For the past 4 years Kirk has managed the program to implement fuels reduction activities
that consist of thinning, mowing and burning in the WUI around Sisters, Black Butte and
in the Metolius Basin.
Kirk is currently working on the Sisters Area Fuels Reduction, Healthy Forest Restoration
Act EA. The ―SAFeR‖ project area has an abundance of available fuels where land
management direction emphasizes wildlife and other values in the WUI.
US Forest Service, Sisters Ranger District, Sisters, Oregon. KMetzger@fs.fed.us,
Mark Penninger—Overview of Wildlife and Fire in the Wildlife Urban Interface
Mark will provide an overview of the ―Wildlife and Fire in the Wildland Urban Interface
Workshop.‖ The overview will cover workshop objectives, recognition of the background and
skills of the presenters, and some examples of the variability of wildlife habitat values
within WUIs. At least three examples of WUIs in northeastern Oregon are discussed. With
the rate of rural development, the WUI segment of the landscape may not be minor for very
long. People choose to live in rural settings for many reasons; one frequently cited reason is
wildlife. Mark will briefly touch on ―sense of place‖ and how wildlife contributes to the
quality of life for rural residents. Finally, he will elaborate on the importance of
interdisciplinary coordination in managing WUIs (and wildlands in general). The ―ologists‖
were dragged kicking and screaming into the planning process for vegetation management
(i.e. timber sales) about 15 years ago. After the growing pains of working side by side with
foresters and other resource specialists, it has proven an effective means of managing for
multiple and sometimes competing resources. In some places fuels specialists and biologists
are in the ―growing pains‖ stage right now. Work through it, cross train, and identify
common goals. The resources and your constituents will benefit from your efforts.
Mark Penninger is a fisheries and wildlife biologist or the US Forest Service in
La Grande, Oregon. He has 17 years experience with the Forest Service, having worked on
the Willamette, Malheur and currently the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. His
primary responsibility is wildlife, but he also serves as aerial observer and fire fighter for
wildfire suppression. Mark is currently the president of the Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife
Society, and a certified wildlife biologist since March 2000. Mark‘s professional interests
and expertise involve forest patch dynamics, forest habitat restoration, and effects of
human access on wildlife.
US Forest Service, La Grande Ranger District, La Grande, Oregon. firstname.lastname@example.org,
Gregg M. Riegel - Fire, Bitterbrush, and Mule Deer: Does intelligent design exist?
Fire has been a major natural process hat has shaped vegetation and wildlife populations
prior to the arrival of the first humans to Central Oregon in post-glacial regime of the late
Pleistocene, some 13,000 years ago. Native Americans were the first land managers to
recognize and use fire to facilitate their hunting and gathering culture. The frequency and
intensity of historic fire has been altered in many of our ecosystems since Euro American
settlement in the late 1800‘s. Landscape functions have been primarily impacted by the
interactions of logging large, old fire resistant trees, fire suppression, and agriculture.
Federal and State natural resource and fire managers have traditionally focused on
providing clean water, fiber, forage, wildlife and fisheries habitat, and recreation
opportunities on public lands. Recently this focus has been modified to define fire risk and
accelerate fuels reduction to accommodate the ever increasing expansion of people that
want to live in or at the interface of wildlands. The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) is
being managed to reduce the risk of surface and crown fires for public safety and for the
safety of our fire fighters who must deal with increasing human caused ignition potential.
Thinning dense second growth trees and mowing or burning of understories dominated by
fire sensitive bitterbrush, has successfully reduced fire risk but often the treatments
stimulate fire dependent species such as rabbitbrush, snowbrush, and greenleaf manzanita.
What we know is: 1) this shift in species composition reduces bitterbrush cover and
abundance which is the primary browse for mule deer, and 2) more winter and transitional
mule deer ranges are being lost to out of control development which increases the stress on
mule deer and often facilitates their acquired taste for landscape plants. What we don’t
know is: 1) how long these disturbance dependent shrubs will dominate a site, 2) what is
the frequency of treatments necessary to maintain low fire risk potential and what will the
vegetation response look like, 3) will frequent fuel treatments increase the potential for
establishment and dominance of noxious and more flammable weeds such as is cheatgrass,
and knapweeds, and 4) how will the WUI affect mule deer populations. Can we restore
WUI ecosystems to an appropriate composition and structure to maintain a low fire risk
while supporting a resilient mule deer population? Unfortunately, there are no
requirements or available funds to establish a monitoring program that would help us
address these questions. Is this a matter of ‗having our cake and eating it too‖?
Gregg Riegel is the Area Ecologist for the Central Oregon Interagency Ecology Program,
in Bend. He has been with the USFS Pacific Northwest Region Ecology Program since
1991. Prior to this position he was a post-doctoral fellow with USDA Agricultural Research
Service, Reno, Nevada where he studied livestock grazing effects on plant-soil water and
nutrient dynamics in montane meadows. Gregg has a B.S. (1976) in Renewable Natural
Resources (Botany) from UC Davis, an M.S. (1982) in Forestry from Humboldt State
University, and a Ph.D. (1989) in Ecology and Ecophysiology from Oregon State University.
His dissertation examined understory competition for resources in ponderosa pine forests of
northeastern Oregon. Gregg grew up working summers on his family‘s ranch in northern
California where he first got to play with fire burning weeds in their almond orchard. He
started his career as a fire fighter at the age of 17 (1970) with California Division of
Forestry and has worked in various biology, forestry, and fire suppression positions
throughout California, Nevada, and Oregon for the Bureau of Land Management, Forest
Service, and National Park Service. Gregg was a Research Asst. at OSU in the Forest
Science Dept (1982-85), a Lecturer in the Rangeland Resources Dept. (1988), and has
served as graduate faculty member with dual appointments in the Departments of
Environmental Sciences and Rangeland Ecology and Management since 1991. He teaches
fire ecology and riparian monitoring classes in various Federal programs and for the Forest
Technology Program/department at Central Oregon Community College. His current work
is focused on fire and alternative fuel treatment effects in ponderosa pine/bitterbrush
dominated systems and classification and monitoring riparian ecosystems.
US Forest Service, Bend, Oregon. email@example.com, (541) 383-5423
Steve Zack—Forest Wildlife in the WUI Context
There is a "Wildlife Urban Interface" that is generally viewed as a positive aspect of living
near nature (dangerous carnivores excepted). Much of the expanding human population
growth in the intermountain West is driven by the public's interest in being among wildlife
in daily life. The context for concern with the Wildland Urban Interface is the real risk of
catastrophic fire to our homes, structures and lives. Forest management in ponderosa pine
forests to reduce risk of high-intensity fire need not be viewed as negatively affecting forest
wildlife. The details are important: the spatial scale of treatment, the degree of thinning,
and use/nonuse of prescribed fire determine the effectiveness of dealing with the WUI issue
and likewise will have varying effects on wildlife. I offer perspectives and results from my
collaborations with USFS, university, and other scientists in evaluating contrasting
experimental forest management efforts in ponderosa pine forests that bear on WUI
Steve Zack is the Coordinator of Pacific West activities for the Wildlife Conservation
Society with an office in Portland. He has collaborated with forest service and other
scientists in a diversity of experimental forest management efforts in ponderosa pine
settings over the past decade. Steve earned his B.S. from Oregon State in 1978, his PhD
from the University of New Mexico in 1985. He joined WCS in 1998 and is currently
involved in wildlife and habitat restoration efforts in the West, including forests,
riparian, and oak woodlands.
Wildlife Conservation Society, Portland, Oregon. firstname.lastname@example.org, (503) 241-3743
The Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society is a non-profit scientific and
educational association dedicated to wildlife stewardship through science and
education. Its mission is to promote wise conservation and management of wildlife
resources in Oregon by serving and representing wildlife professionals, and to
enhance the ability of wildlife professionals to conserve biological diversity, sustain
productivity, and ensure responsible use of wildlife resources for the benefit of
society. PO Box 2378, Corvallis, OR 97339-2378,