Mastication Research Project
Historically, fire has been the primary tool used for ecosystem restoration and risk reduction in Whiskeytown's fire-prone landscapes. However, the development of homes along the park's boundary exacerbates the level of risk associated with the application of prescribed fire. Within recent years, Whiskeytown has implemented a progressive fuels management program that protects high value areas through a variety of alternative fire risk reduction methods, including understory thinning, vegetation chipping, and mastication. While these techniques expand the list of options for fire managers, the ecological impacts and long-term effects of these treatments are uncertain. To address these uncertainties, the park, with the support of the Joint Fire Science Program, conducted a three-year research study of alternative fuels treatments.
In addition to the research conducted by park personnel, colloborators from Southern Oregon University are studying the effects of these alternative fuels treatments on mycorrhizal communities, and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station is utilizing the site to develop fire behavior models for masticated fuelbeds.
For more information contact Jennifer Gibson 530-242-3457