Working Paper Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Multi-Resource Watershed Research in the Southwestern USA and the Four Forests Restoration Initiative: A Review

Version 1 : Received: 10 September 2019 / Approved: 11 September 2019 / Online: 11 September 2019 (05:11:42 CEST)

How to cite: Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G. Multi-Resource Watershed Research in the Southwestern USA and the Four Forests Restoration Initiative: A Review. Preprints 2019, 2019090114 Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G. Multi-Resource Watershed Research in the Southwestern USA and the Four Forests Restoration Initiative: A Review. Preprints 2019, 2019090114

Abstract

Wildfires have impacted thousands of acres of forests in Arizona and New Mexico in recent years. The extensive damage has been partially attributed to the current forest condition where many once open stands now consist of dense stands of younger, unhealthy trees and buildups of forest fuels. In Arizona, land managers and community organizations developed the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) to attempt to rectify the situation by thinning the forest while protecting wildlife and watershed resources. Integrated resource information and research are particularly important today with society’s increased demands for high quality water, healthy forests, sound fire management, and viable wildlife populations. However, many managers are not familiar with previous integrated watershed research in the Southwest that could provide a strong basis for current management decisions or as a basis for future research. New and modified prescriptions to manage the Southwest’s forest resources are vital to answer the threats of wildfires and insect infestations. Integrated forest resource management is necessary to meet the diverse needs of society and the land. The 4FRI plan raised many questions about the effects of silvicultural prescriptions on tree, wildlife, and water resources. The Beaver Creek, Thomas Creek, and Castle Creek watershed experiments all had goals of evaluating integrated resource management options and of providing managers and scientists with useful management information. Much of the knowledge gained in these programs can provide forest managers with a better, more holistic basis for future integrated management of the Southwest USA’s forests and woodlands. This paper reviews research on three watershed areas in Arizona where integrated resource management was successful.

Subject Areas

watershed; forest restoration; integrated resource management; Southwest USA; Beaver Creek; Thomas Creek; Castle Creek

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