Project Goals â¿¿ The result expected from this project is to deliver data on habitat conditions, trends and updated assessments of the Sky Island forests of the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park (BIBE).
This data will provide the park Fire Ecologist, the Fire
Management Office, and Chief of Resources Management with the information needed to update and implement burn plans and wildland fire response strategies over the next ten years.
The BIBE Fire Management Plan is in need of updates to reflect the requirements of park staff to prioritize management of this habitat.
Recent isolated wildfires and the 2011 drought have elevated this need.
This updated monitoring effort will contribute to the refinement of management strategies for wildland fire and fuels treatments in the Chisos Mountains of BIBE.
Project Objectives â¿¿ The project objectives include:
evaluating forest resource conditions to provide important information about the status of Chisos Mountain Sky Island forests, as well as trends in this resource over the last 15 years, and characterization of the resource conditions at the appropriate scale.
The project will also resample a long-term, 15-year old plot network (described below) to provide a longer-term (6-years post-drought) and landscape-scale assessment of the effects of the drought on tree mortality.
Such characterization of current forest resource condition is therefore relevant for evaluating the vulnerability of this resource to a range of environmental stressors including both long-term climate change and future wildfire risk.
In addition, the project will also report on the resource conditions to facilitate use of project findings in the parkâ¿¿s decision and planning processes.