Volume 6, Issue 2 - June/July 2013
Western Threat Center Highlights
The Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center is the Eastern Threat Center’s sister center in Prineville, OR.
Nancy E. Grulke, PhD, Western Threat Center Director
BMW Uses Google Maps
Dynamic, yet complex, global vegetation models show annual changes as vegetation responds to environmental change. The Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center developed a user-friendly interface to easily demonstrate vegetation models to collaborators and to calibrate and validate these models. Researchers developed BioMAP Web (BMW), a web-based user interface that uses Google Maps. BMW allows users to choose locations, select model parameters, run simulations, and view outputs as graphs, such as carbon production or water balance. BMW is undergoing in-house testing. For a required web account to access BMW, contact vegetation modeler John Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildfire Tool Sparks Interest
Increased interest surrounds the Western Threat Center’s Landscape Treatment Designer to help with long-term forest restoration. The tool allows users to design and test fuels treatments across the landscape to maximize areas protected against wildfire. The designer can be applied to watersheds, districts, forests, and regions to assist planning and land management efforts. The initial focus targets goals, constraints, and management thresholds within a given landscape. For additional information, contact developer Alan Ager at email@example.com and review the Overview and Example Application of the Landscape Treatment Designer.
Right: 2002 Biscuit Fire in southwestern Oregon, courtesy of Tom Iraci (retired), USDA Forest Service
Invasive Plants a Top Priority
Western Threat Center Director Nancy Grulke proposed creating a national Forest Service team to develop a decision support tool to prioritize treatment of invasive plants. The approach identifies goals or desired outcomes – for example, restoring populations of outcompeted native species; identifying forest threats’ sources, timing, and impacts; and selecting effective treatment options. Advantages include clearly documented processes and considerations that are transparent and easily communicated. Researchers are collaborating to demonstrate treatment of invasive plants on national forests and grasslands.