Multi-party monitoring-a good tool for managersThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The use of prescribed fire has increased dramatically over the last 15 years in the Appalachian Mountains; managers are interested in tracking the effects of their fire programs. Since the mid-1990s, Southern Region National forests have been required to collect data on fuels and vegetation in permanent plots. However, lack of personnel dedicated to this effort has limited the number of plots each forest is capable of maintaining. Thus, National forests are encouraged to work across boundaries and share information with neighboring districts, National forests, and agencies with similar burn prescriptions and monitoring types to increase the size of datasets. We discuss the results of this endeavor, including recommendations for improving this approach. In general, data collected in such a manner can be used at least to document trends, which can be used to supplement the more-rigorous research projects which now are becoming more commonplace. Fire effects monitoring completed internally by firefighters and other employees offers multiple benefits to the local units.