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Scaling Forest Structure and Simulated Wildfire in eastern Washington State

Title: Estimating variation in forest structure and its effects on simulated wildfire at multiple scales and for multiple ownerships in the central Washington Cascades


Estimates of forest structure and biomass made for the same geographic area, but using different data, simulation models, and analysis methods may vary.  An issue is whether the variability is enough to matter in decisions about forest management. This study investigates if the variability in estimates of forest structure and biomass is predictably related to land ownership and scale of analysis and how these may impact simulations of wildfire.  Existing data on forest vegetation from the eastern Cascades region of central Washington are used to examine how data resolution relates to estimates made at watershed and landscape scales.  Focal watersheds lie within the jurisdiction of the USDA Forest Service, the Yakama Indian Nation, and the State of Washington within the region of the Tapash Cooperative.  Several landscape ecology driven hypotheses on attribute variability vs. spatial resolution and extent are implemented.  A subsequent analysis will be focused on investigating how this variability will influence the outputs of one or more fire simulation models.

Participants at PSU :  Treg ChristopherLouise Loudermilk, Robert Scheller

Collaborators: Susan Hummel (USFS)

Funding: USDA Forest Service

Status:  Concluded; publication in preparation.

Related Links: Tapash Cooperative, USDA FS: Pacific Northwest Research Station