Berry Students Analyze Fuel Loads & Fire Hazards
In April 2004, students Melanie Belk and Carly Donahue completed an analysis of fuel loads and fire hazards based upon field data collected in our old-growth stands. The results were presented at the GA Academy of Sciences meeting at Berry College:
2004. Belk, M., C. Donahue, and M. L. Cipollini. An analysis of standing fuel loads within the Berry College Longleaf Management Area, Floyd County, GA. Abstracts: Georgia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Berry College , Mount Berry , GA. March 22-24, 2004.
Abstract: In order to obtain an accurate assessment of available fuel prior to planning prescribed burns or when assessing wildfire risk, it is necessary to measure duff, litter, and herbaceous, live woody, and dead woody materials in an efficient and reproducible manner. Standard methods have not been generally established for forests in the southeast United States. Adopting a U.S. Forest Service point-sampling technique for western U.S. forests, we assessed fuel conditions within an area on campus designated for prescribed burning, including the estimation of parameters that reflect local conditions (e.g., biomass/basal area relationships for local shrub species). This area is in the heart of a newly established management area where remnant longleaf stands are being restored via the reintroduction of prescribed fire. Our hope is that this approach may prove generally useful to public and private landholders concerned with the estimation of ground-level fuels in southeastern forests, particularly those in the Mountain Longleaf region.