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News Archive


News - May 2013

Association for Fire Ecology Conference in Roanoke - Wildland Fire in the Appalachians: Discussions Among Managers and Scientists see website

News - April 2013

Everyone, rural or urban, has a stake in forests see article

News - March 2013

NE Grassroots Fire Science Consortium organizational effort see poster

News - January 2013

Three fire ecologists were recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 5th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress held in Portland , Oregon , December 3-7. Dave Engle, Oklahoma State University received the Wright Award (grasslands and shrublands); Jan van Wagtendonk, U.S. Geological Survey the Biswell Award (western U.S. ); and Bill Patterson, University of Massachusetts/Amherst the Stoddard Award (eastern U.S. ) Awardees are shown below (right to left) with Dr. Brian Oswald (far left) President of the Association for Fire Ecology.


News - December 2013

The 2013 NENH Conference will be held at the Sheraton Springfield (MA) Hotel April 14-16. Sessions involving barrens ecology, fire ecology, and a field trip to the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area are being organized. For more information visit the conference web site at


News - April 2009

The results of new work on springtime pitch pine foliar moisture content (FMC) have been added to the website! Using data collected from the Montague Plains over the last six years (and still going), the timing and extent of pitch pine FMC decline and recovery has been correlated with the heat sum in air (a measure of growing season progress). A calculator has been developed to estimate FMC by entering average daily temperatures. See the Methods page for the Excel calculator as well as a live example of 2009 data updated regularly as the season progresses!


News- January 2006 Conference Announcement

Forest Sciences across the Borders
Eastern CANUSA Forest Science Conference
October 19-21, 2006
Quebec, Canada

The Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada share a vital and common link
to northern forests. In addition to strong economic dependence, people of the region
derive considerable recreational, aesthetic, and ecological values from these
forests. The future of the region clearly relies upon sustainable management of this
highly valued forest resource.

To learn more about this conference check out their web page at

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News - November 2005 Conference Announcement

To Land Managers, Government Relations Folks, State Directors and Others Interested in Prescribed Fire,

On *December 14-15,2005* the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fire Learning Network is holding a conference in White Haven, Pennsylvania.  Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending, please RSVP by November 18, or as soon as possible*.

*General goals* for the conference include:
     a. Share lessons learned.
     b. Develop a common vision for how we can work together to advance fire management needs across the Eastern Region.
     c. Identify strategic actions to advance fire management at the spatial scale and frequency necessary to maintain viable fire-dependent natural communities and species in the Eastern

In general, the first day will focus on lessons learned in the field (e.g. prescription parameters, seasonal crews, training, monitoring). The second day will focus on policy, funding, partnerships and developing a vision for Eastern Region Fire Management, including some next steps for moving fire forward.

To learn more about the conference objectives, please review the DRAFT Agenda.  If there are additional issues/topics you are interested in learning more about or discussing, please let Stephanie Gifford know and we'll see if we can squeeze them onto the agenda, or organize informal discussion groups during meals.

Thanks for your time and input.

Stephanie B. Gifford
Director of Ecological Management
Eastern New York Chapter
The Nature Conservancy
200 Broadway, Third Floor
Troy, New York 12180
Ph: 518-272-0195
Fax: 518-272-0298

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News - October 2005

Don't miss the Tour de Flame in the Pine Bush!

Tour de Flame: Prescribed Fire in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Saturday, October 22, 2005 1:00pm 2:30pm
Location: Rear parking lot of the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New
Karner Road.

How is it that fire helps Pine Bush wildlife?  And what are the tools that
make safe controlled burns possible?  Both entertaining and memorable, Fire
Management Specialist Bob Bale leads this up-close tour of burned Pine Bush
landscapes.  The program includes an introduction to prescribed fire gear
and gadgets and will give your family a hands-on experience with our
cutting-edge fire restoration practices.

Please call 518-785-1800 x100 to sign up.

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News - September 2005

After working for us for nearly two years, Kim Iwamoto is moving on to bigger and better things. During her time at UMASS Kim provided support not only to this Joint Fire Science funded project, but also to a host of students and others who passed through (or near) our lab at UMASS. In addition to creating and maintaining this web site, she organized the June 2004 Field Tour, completed a back-log of data entry and summarization, and helped with a variety of field projects - from sampling (and burning) wildland fuels to corraling salamanders! We will miss Kim and wish her all the best as she heads west to get married, be a volunteer bird bander, and spend some time travelling.

Julie Richburg and Bill Patterson will continue to maintain and update this web site. Please send information and questions to them at:

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News - August 2005

In the last few weeks, we've added a lot of information to the website about two sites--the Albany Pine Bush and the Long Island Central Pine Barrens--that are working on fuels management projects. At Albany they're working to (among other objectives) restore pitch pine scrub oak barrens and enhance Karner blue butterfly habitat, and at Long Island they're beginning the first treatment phase of a National Fire Plan-funded fuel reduction demonstration project. Check out the web pages for Albany and Long Island to learn about their projects and progress.

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News - July 2005

The Brown's Downed Woody Fuel Lines excel workbook was updated to Version 1.3 on 7-20-05. Version 1.2 is still fine to use, but 1.3 has some revised methods and we hope that the input worksheet is slightly more user-friendly. Download the new version on the Methods page or by clicking here (1.4MB).

The Scrub Oak 1x1m excel workbook was updated to Version 1.4 on 7-19-05. Versions 1.2 and 1.3 (that were previously posted on the web site) are fine to use, but 1.4 has updated equations for the regressions based on more data points. Download the new version on the Methods page or by clicking here (1.0MB).

In addition, a few notes and hints have been added to the 40x40cm2 Harvest Plots Methods. Read these notes on the 40x40 section of the Methods page.

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News - June 2005

The Canopy Bulk Density excel workbook in the Methods section was updated to Version 1.3 on 6-22-05. Version 1.2 is still fine to use, but the new feature of 1.3 is that it calculates stand-level Canopy Base Height in addition to Canopy Bulk Density. Canopy Base Height can be used with the fire behavior software Nexus to calculate Torching Index, the windspeed needed to initiate crown fire in a given stand. Download the new version on the Methods page or by clicking here (3.7MB).

Also new to the Methods section is a link to Martha's Vineyard Custom Fuel Models. We developed nine custom fuel models for the fuels of Manuel F. Correllus State Forest at Martha's Vineyard. The models are for treated and untreated fuels in Pitch Pine, Oak Woodland, and Scrub Oak dominated stands. View or download the excel worksheet on the Methods page or by clicking here (33KB) .

A final recent addition to the Methods page is a BehavePlus2 Custom Fuel Modeling Exercise. Matthew Duveneck wrote a brief Custom Fuel Modeling Exercise for BehavePlus2. [Note: this is the exercise we went through together in the Custom Fuel Modeling Workshop in March]. The exercise is meant to provide detailed instructions for simple custom fuel modeling. View or download the word file on the Methods page or by clicking here (32KB).

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News - May 2005

We've made two main additions to the website in recent weeks. The first is an "About" page, that tells about the website and the fuels demonstration project and contains a site index. The second addition is a set of pages containing information about the 0.1-acre plots at Cape Cod. It highlights photoseries comparing intervals of mow and burn treatments, and provides fuels information and fire behavior data for a plot that is burned every fourth dormant season. To access this information, go the the treatment map on the Cape Cod Page by clicking here.

As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are appreciated. E-mail us!

News - April 2005

The Scrub Oak 1x1m excel worksheet developed for calculating scrub oak fuel load has been updated to "Version 1.3." Version 1.2 (the first version posted on the website) is fine to use, but 1.3 has updated equations for the regressions based on more data points. Download the new version here, or go to the Methods section to see all the excel files and the BehavePlus inputs flow chart.

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News - March 2005

Good news! The excel workbooks developed for the Custom Fuel Modeling Workshop (March 15-16) have been revised and updated. They are available on the Methods page for downloading. Many thanks to Matthew Duveneck for his work in getting these ready.

Also available is a flow chart showing which sampling methods (Brown's Lines, 40x40s, or 1x1s) are used to generate which BehavePlus inputs. We hope it will be useful! Download it here.

As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are MOST appreciated. Please feel free to contact us!

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On March 15-16, 2005 we conducted a Custom Fuel Modeling Workshop at Camp Edwards Massachusetts Military Reservation. Our thanks to all who participated, and to Mike Ciaranca and John Kelly for hosting and handling logistics.

We are working out glitches in the excel worksheets presented at the workshop, and Matt Duveneck is putting together a flow chart that will clarify which sampling methods produce which inputs to BehavePlus2.

We will post these items on the website, on the Methods page, when they're ready, and we'll put a notice in this "News" section to let you know we've done so. Any comments or suggestions on the worksheets, website, or anything else are greatly appreciated; please feel free to contact us.

Below are some photos from the Custom Fuel Modeling Workshop, March 15-16, 2005, courtesy of Matthew Duveneck. Click on an image to enlarge it.

working at the computers   sampling equipment   sampling downed woody fuel lines
field sampling   40x40 sampling gear   Bill, lecturing

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