Hugh D. Safford

Contact Info


Pacific Southwest Region
Forest Service
1323 Club Drive
Vallejo , California 94592, United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

Giant Sequoia Regeneration in Groves Exposed to Wildfire and Retention Harvest
Pages: 2-16
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0702002

Both wildland fire and mechanical harvest have been proposed to achieve ecological restoration goals in giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum [Lindl.] Buchholz) groves of the southern Sierra Nevada, but their effectiveness on giant sequoia regeneration has received little attention. In the summer of 2010, we examined giant sequoia regeneration in four groves subjected to: 1) moderate- to high-severity wildfire in 1987 (Case Mountain, Redwood Mountain groves), 2) low-severity wildfire in 2008 (Black Mountain grove), 3) retention harvest (removal of all trees except large-diameter giant sequoia) followed by prescribed burning in the mid-1980s (Black Mountain, Bearskin groves), and 4) nearby unburned and unharvested (control) stands in all groves.  [Read More]

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A Summary of Fire Frequency Estimates for California Vegetation before Euro-American Settlement
Pages: 26-58
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0703026

California fire regimes have been altered from those that occurred prior to Euro-American settlement, and are predicted to continue to change as global climates warm. Inclusion of fire as a landscape-level process is considered essential to successful ecological restoration in many ecosystems, and presettlement fire regimes provide foundational information for restoration or “realignment” of ecosystems as climate change and land use changes progress. The objective of our study was to provide an up-to-date, comprehensive summary of presettlement fire frequency estimates for California ecosystems dominated by woody plants, and to supply the basis for fire return interval departure (FRID) mapping and analysis in California.  [Read More]

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Trends in Wildfire Severity: 1984 to 2010 in the Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, and Southern Cascades, California, USA
Pages: 41-57
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0803041

Data from recent assessments indicate that the annual area of wildfires burning at high severity (where most trees are killed) has increased since 1984 across much of the southwestern United States.  [Read More]

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Patterns and Trends in Burned Area and Fire Severity from 1984 to 2010 in the Sierra De San Pedro Mártir, Baja California, Mexico
Pages: 52-72
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1201052

Yellow pine (Pinus spp. L.) and mixed conifer (YPMC) forests of California, USA (Alta California), have been negatively affected since Euro-American settlement by a century or more of logging, fire exclusion, and other human activities.  The YPMC forests in northwestern Mexico (northern Baja California) are found in the same climate zone as those of Alta California and support mostly the same dominant species, yet they are much less degraded, having suffered little logging and only 30 years of fire suppression.  [Read More]

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Corroborating Evidence of a Pre-Euro-American Low- to Moderate-Severity Fire Regime in Yellow Pine–Mixed Conifer Forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA
Pages: 58-90
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.1301058

Fire was the dominant ecological process controlling forest structure and succession in western North American conifer forests for thousands of years. Because fires are now suppressed, and because widespread logging has greatly altered vegetation structure, land managers often use estimates of pre-Euro-American settlement forest conditions to help guide restoration actions. It follows that it is important to fully understand the characteristics of pre-Euro-American settlement fire regimes.  [Read More]

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