Scott L. Stephens

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We offer a conceptual framework for managing forested ecosystems under an assumption that future environments will be different from present but that we cannot be certain about the specifics of change. We encourage flexible approaches that promote reversible and incremental steps, and that favor ongoing learning and capacity to modify direction as(More)
Forest-fire policy of U.S. federal agencies has evolved from the use of small patrols in newly created National Parks to diverse policy initiatives and institutional arrangements that affect millions of hectares of forests. Even with large expenditures and substantial infrastructure dedicated to fire suppression, the annual area burned by wildfire has(More)
Fuel treatments have been suggested as a means to limit the size and intensity of wildfires but few experiments are available to analyze the effectiveness of different treatments. This paper presents information from a replicated, stand level experiment from mixed conifer forests in the north-central Sierra Nevada that investigated how control, mechanical(More)
Forest structure and species composition in many western U.S. coniferous forests have been altered through fire exclusion, past and ongoing harvesting practices, and livestock grazing over the 20th century. The effects of these activities have been most pronounced in seasonally dry, low and mid-elevation coniferous forests that once experienced frequent,(More)
Most administrators and ecologists agree that reducing the levels of hazardous fuels on forests is essential to restore healthy watersheds and protect adjacent human communities. The current debate over the appropriateness, technique, and timing of treatments utilized to restore vegetation structure and composition is currently on-going at local, state, and(More)
The effects of fire on vegetation vary based on the properties and amount of existing biomass (or fuel) in a forest stand, weather conditions, and topography. Identifying controls over the spatial patterning of fire-induced vegetation change, or fire severity, is critical in understanding fire as a landscape scale process. We use gridded estimates of fire(More)
Logistic regression equations of prescribed fire mortality were developed for white fir (Abies concolor [Gord. and Glend.] Lindl.), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.), incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens [Torr.] Floren.), and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum [Lindley] Buchholz) in the southern Sierra Nevada,(More)
North, Malcolm; Stine, Peter; O’Hara, Kevin; Zielinski, William; Stephens, Scott. 2009. An ecosystem management strategy for Sierran mixed-conifer forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-220. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 49 p. Current Sierra Nevada forest management is often focused on(More)
Changes in vegetation and fuels were evaluated from measurements taken before and after fuel reduction treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and the combination of the two) at 12 Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) sites located in forests with a surface fire regime across the conterminous United States. To test the relative effectiveness of fuel(More)
Management of downed woody fuels and snags (standing dead trees) is receiving increasing attention because of their ecosystem values and effects on potential fire behavior. Research has correlated the abundance of many wildlife species with snags and downed woody material but very little information exists of the abundance and arrangement of these forest(More)