About the website

This website was created as deliverable for a Joint Fire Science Program funded grant (Project Number 01C-3-1-05). Principal investigaters for the project are William A. Patterson III, University of Massachusetts/Amherst and David W. Crary, Jr., Fire Management Officer, Cape Cod National Seashore. Funding for the project has been provided by the Joint Fire Science Program, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Goals of the project are:

1.) to establish two demonstration sites where barrens fuels are managed using innovative combinations of overstory thinning, mechanical treatment of shrub fuels, sheep grazing and prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads, wildfire intensity, and wildland-urban interface risk. We hope to inform the general public and land managers of the region with interpretive signs, brochures, guided walks, a website, a field tour, and symposia.

2.) to assess the effectiveness of combinations of treatments (e.g., mowing plus burning, thinning plus grazing) in reducing fuel loads and fire intensity in barrens. We have linked our work with an state-funded effort on Martha's Vineyard to establish fire breaks (fuel-free zones) around a portion of the perimeter of the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest (MFCSF). Treatments combined logging, mechanically treating brush, grazing and prescribed fire to evaluate the best methods for altering fuel bed structure while maintaining barrens attributes associated with rare plant and insect species habitat.

3.) to develop and test custom fuel models for both unaltered and managed barrens fuels. We have developed models for several barrens areas in the Northeast, but testing has been limited. We aim to make significant contributions to resource managers' understanding of fire behavior and fuel modification techniques. Results from this project will be applicable to management of barrens fuels on federal, state and private lands throughout the Northeast.

This website represents a cooperative effort that describes both work that has been done by the pricipal investigators at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and on Cape Cod National Seashore, as well as work by others throughout the region. It is our hope that the website will be a useful and informative clearinghouse for information of interest to all who are managing fuels and fire in the Northeast.

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Northeastern Barrens

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