Biology, diagnosis, and management of Heterobasidion root disease of southern pines

This fungus may be called many names – including annosum root rot, annosus root rot, or Heterobasidion root rot – and is caused by Heterobasidion irregulare (formerly named Heterobasidion annosum and Fomes annosus). This fungus is present throughout North America, has a very wide host range, and is commonly found in southeastern U.S. forests. The fungus causes root decay, although infected trees may survive for many years after infection. Weakened roots are at an increased risk of windthrow. Infected roots generally show heavy resin leakage, and the spread of the fungus through root grafts may cause pockets of tree mortality. Fungal spores are also spread by wind, and often infect stumps from recently harvested forest stands. Annosum root rot is most common on deep, sandy soils or former agricultural land. Prevention is the best way to manage this disease, but post-treatment of stumps with borax can limit fungal spread.

Source: Biology, diagnosis, and management of Heterobasidion root disease of southern pines – Southern Regional Extension Forestry

Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities

Wildfire is a global phenomenon that plays a vital role in regulating and maintaining many natural and human-influenced ecosystems but that also poses considerable risks to human populations and infrastructure. Fire managers are charged with balancing the short-term protection of human assets sensitive to fire exposure against the potential long-term benefits that wildfires can provide to natural systems and wildlife populations. The compressed decision timeframes imposed on fire managers during an incident are often insufficient to fully assess a range of fire management options and their respective implications for public and fire responder safety, attainment of land and resource objectives, and future trajectories of hazard and risk. This paper reviews the role of GIS-based assessment and planning to support operational wildfire management decisions, with a focus on recent and emerging research that pre-identifies anthropogenic and biophysical landscape features that can be leveraged to increase the safety and effectiveness of wildfire management operations. We use a case study from the United States to illustrate the development and application of tools that draw from research generated by the global fire management community.

Source: Geosciences | Free Full-Text | Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities | HTML

Patterns and Predictors of Recent Forest Conversion in New England

New England forests provide numerous benefits to the region’s residents, but are undergoing rapid development. We used boosted regression tree analysis (BRT) to assess geographic predictors of forest loss to development between 2001 and 2011. BRT combines classification and regression trees with machine learning to generate non-parametric statistical models that can capture non-linear relationships. Based on National Land Cover Database (NLCD) maps of land cover change, we assessed the importance of the biophysical and social variables selected for full region coverage and minimal collinearity in predicting forest loss to development, specifically: elevation, slope, distance to roads, density of highways, distance to built land, distance to cities, population density, change in population density, relative change in population density, population per housing unit, median income, state, land ownership categories and county classification as recreation or retirement counties. The resulting models explained 6.9% of the variation for 2001–2011, 4.5% for 2001–2006 and 1.8% for 2006–2011, fairly high values given the complexity of factors predicting land development and the high resolution of the spatial datasets (30-m pixels). The two most important variables in the BRT were “population density” and “distance to road”, which together made up 55.5% of the variation for 2001–2011, 49.4% for 2001–2006 and 42.9% for 2006–2011. The lower predictive power for 2006–2011 may reflect reduced development due to the “Great Recession”. From our models, we generated high-resolution probability surfaces, which can provide a key input for simulation models of forest and land cover change.

Source: Land | Free Full-Text | Patterns and Predictors of Recent Forest Conversion in New England

The Influence of Forest Management Regimes on Deforestation in a Central Indian Dry Deciduous Forest Landscape

This research examines the impact of forest management regimes, with various degrees of restriction, on forest conservation in a dry deciduous Indian forest landscape. Forest change is mapped using Landsat satellite images from 1977, 1990, 1999, and 2011. The landscape studied has lost 1478 km2 of dense forest cover between 1977 and 2011, with a maximum loss of 1002 km2 of dense forest between 1977 and 1990. The number of protected forest areas has increased, concomitant with an increase in restrictions on forest access and use outside protected areas. Interviews with residents of 20 randomly selected villages indicate that in the absence of alternatives, rather than reducing their dependence on forests, communities appear to shift their use to other, less protected patches of forest. Pressure shifts seem to be taking place as a consequence of increasing protection, from within protected areas to forests outside, leading to the creation of protected but isolated forest islands within a matrix of overall deforestation, and increased conflict between local residents and forest managers. A broader landscape vision for forest management needs to be developed, that involves local communities with forest protection and enables their decision-making on forest management outside strict protected areas.

Source: The Influence of Forest Management Regimes on Deforestation in a Central Indian Dry Deciduous Forest Landscape

SAF Advocacy & Outreach

The Society of American Foresters Government Affairs and External Relations Team works with policymakers, partner organizations, and key coalitions to provide a unified voice for sustainable forest management and forestry and natural resources professionals. Documents related to the team’s work are posted on SAF’s website for both members and the general public.

Recently, SAF submitted a letter to Senate Committees and Energy Bill Conferees on wildfire funding and forest management. Over 50 percent of the US Forest Service budget goes toward putting out fires, literally. Solving the wildfire funding issue will be a long and arduous process. Since the overall budget has remained flat, rising costs mean all Forest Service programs suffer, including research and development and on-the-ground work to improve forest health, productivity, and resilience. The letter urges Senate committee members and energy bill conferees to work toward a solution to this situation.

Source: Advocacy & Outreach

2016 State & Private Forestry Report | National Association of State Foresters

The 2016 State and Private Forestry report illustrates how Forest Action Plans completed in 2010 have helped states and their partners achieve national conservation priorities for America’s forests.

The report, funded in part by the USDA Forest Service with an analysis conducted by Dovetail Partners, illustrates just a few of the accomplishments, new initiatives, and on-the-ground impacts that are a result of more than five years of Forest Action Plan implementation. More than 50 new documents totaling more than 1,000 pages of information were reviewed to identify key accomplishments and emerging trends.

Some of the key themes and topics that the report covers are:

  • Technology, Inventory and Markets
  • Wildfire and the Wildland-Urban Interface
  • Forest Health
  • Urban and Community Forests
  • Landscape-Scale Partnerships Across Boundaries
  • Ecosystem Services

Source: National Association of State Foresters | 2016 State & Private Forestry Report