The fire research program at the Silas Little Experimental Forest, New Lisbon, New Jersey
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In: Hayes, D.C.; Stout, S.L.; Crawford, R.H.; Hoover, A.P., eds. USDA Forest Service experimental forests and ranges research for the long term. New York, NY: Springer: 515-534. Chapter 22.
In this chapter, we document the development and current research efforts of the fire research program at the Silas Little Experimental Forest of the Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, in the Pinelands of southern New Jersey. The 450,000-ha (1.1 million-acre) Pinelands National Reserve contains some of the most challenging fuel types for wildland fire managers in the eastern USA. These highly flammable forests occur adjacent to extensive wildland-urban interface and major transportation corridors. We first briefly discuss the ecological setting of upland forests in the Pinelands, highlighting how fire, past industrialization, and other disturbances have shaped the composition and structure of these forests. We then document the establishment of the Experimental Forest and the fire research program. We focus on the career of Dr. Silas Little, a silviculturist with the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Upper Darby, PA. Beginning in the late 1930s, his research on prescribed burning practices and silviculture in the Pinelands resulted in cost-effective methods to reduce wildfire risk while promoting the regeneration of commercially important timber species. We discuss how many of the prescribed burning practices developed during these research efforts are now used operationally by the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) and federal wildland fire managers in the Pinelands. Finally, we highlight current and future research efforts at the Experimental Forest.
KeywordsPrescribed fire; Wildfire; Forest management; Pinelands National Reserve; LiDAR; Hazardous fuels management
Clark, Kenneth L.; Skowronski, Nicholas; Gallagher, Michael. 2014. The fire research program at the Silas Little Experimental Forest, New Lisbon, New Jersey. In: Hayes, D.C.; Stout, S.L.; Crawford, R.H.; Hoover, A.P., eds. USDA Forest Service experimental forests and ranges research for the long term. New York, NY: Springer: 515-534. Chapter 22. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1818-4_22.