Part of a national network The mission of the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange is to enhance fire science delivery by using new and existing mechanisms and outlets for outreach across the Great Plains and to stimulate communication among the fire community to bridge the gap in information sharing. Mission extension Present the science to the GP fire community and make it accessible Connect the GP fire community Enhance the knowledge and understanding of fire in the Great Plains for those outside of the Great Plains. Southern Rockies SW GP Boise Midwest Oaks and tallgrass Principles Neutral science partner: Management based on sound science Be inclusive Who are we? Staff Sherry Leis: Program Leader, fire ecologist Carol Blocksome: Outreach Specialist, Rangeland Extension Rachel Peterson: Social Media Specialist Tom Bragg: Co-PI, advisor Where we are? • Portions of 10 states (36.9 million acres) • Map boundaries help us focus, but we work across boundaries. Funding Joint Fire Science Program, 2-3 yr cycles • 2014-16: $400,000 A little about me Degrees B.S. Beloit College M.S. Oklahoma State University Area of emphasis: grassland disturbance ecology especially fire and grazing Worked to help managers understand the impacts of their fire management. Who are we? Board of Directors: distributed across the region and diverse backgrounds. The Nature Conservancy Universities/field stations Landowners Burn associations USGS Extension NRCS FWS ARS Who do we serve? Great Plains Fire Community Private land managers Public safety officers Media and the public American Indians Practitioners Fire science and information needs Public land managers Policy makers Contractors Researchers Fire Operations and VFDs Grassland emphasis • Endangered ecosystems Tallgrass, shortgrass, mixed grass, shrubland, sagebrush step, savanna (unique communities and management cultures) • Prescribed fire associations almost entirely grassland focused How much fire? No one knows , but….. Burned area using Landsat data The Flint Hills burns ~35% annually. (Goodin and Moehler) In NE in 2012, nearly 500,000 acres burned by wildfire alone. 4 million acres burned by wildfires in TX in 2011 In the south, 88 million acres in the WUI Texas compared to the rest of the GP Its not enough…. CO KS MO MT ND NE OK SD TX WY ** ** ** ** Priority topic areas How we are addressing information needs? Online resource center Partner with eXtension online forum Sponsor training exchanges Support landowner and manager attendance at Patch burn working group meeting. Developing workshops, symposia, and syntheses Rolling research needs up to JFSP Video Production YouTube channel includes videos and recorded presentations Demonstration sites Engaging extension and operations Patch burn grazing working group Focused on interaction of fire and grazing Great Plains based Listserve and annual field meeting Landowner friendly Learning opportunity Grad. student and researcher participation Engaging the research community What we are not: • A source for operations/equipment funding. • A research group • A source for insurance, although we may be able to share what we learn about the issue in the region. • Fire advocacy group Working Together Learn: through our science summary products educate yourself and share with your networks. Tell us what information you need. Don’t conduct research, but we can relay to researchers what your needs are. We can coordinate training as long as there is a fire science emphasis. What can you do? Try out our products and give feedback. Accurately record the burning you do and aggregate it in ways that others can use. Let us know how you can help us. You have skills and knowledge to share. You can be leaders in the region. Participate. • Report operations/safety record PBAs Coalition. PBAT Regional • Be good examples of fire management for local neighborhoods. • Engage volunteer fire departments • (GPE can help provide resources for those conversations/meetings) • PBAs and PBAT can identify groups that need fire science and provide those to GPE. • Field trips Propose a state prescribed fire or wildland fire day at the capital. Encourage the formation of Firewise or Fire Adapted Communities (and tell us about it). Vote. Discussion?