Utah Chapter Intermountain SAF
USDA Forest Service

Mechanical Fuels Treatment Demonstration

October 3, 2003

Kamas, Utah


Utah Chapter SAF members met with USDA Forest Service fire personnel from the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache National Forests just east of Kamas to view mechanical fuels reduction treatments in the area.

(See the meeting announcement for location map.)
03-1003-3.jpg After a brief introduction to the contractor, the group observed the machine working. The project, Slate Creek Mechanical Fuels Reduction II, was designed to reduce juniper and shrubby "ladder" fuels prior to using a broadcast burn to favor existing ponderosa pine and to regenerate aspen. 03-1003-4.jpg
03-1003-5.jpg After the equipment demonstration, the group visited an adjacent project, Slate Creek Mechanical Fuels Reduction I. This project was treated in 2001 using a different mulching head mounted on a track-hoe (seen here on a job site in Idaho). The 2001 project is still awaiting the broadcast burn portion of the treatment. 03-1003-6.jpg
03-1003-7.jpg Perhaps the largest difference in the two mulching heads is that the drum mulcher used in Slate Creek II tends to concentrate debris more than the rotary head used in Slate Creek I. After viewing the two mechanically treated sites, the group broke for lunch at Yellowpine Campground. Where Dr. Mark Brunson, USU, led a discussion on public perceptions of fuels reduction projects. Dr. Brunson presented some preliminary data from a study he is currently finishing for the BLM.
03-1003-8.jpg As a final wrap-up, Henry Lachowski, from the USFS Geometronics Lab in Salt Lake City, showed the group some new technology being developed by the Lab to assist managers in assessing large fire impacts.