Firewise Denver Botanical Gardens (January 2013)

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We live in the forest or in other environmentally appealing areas because we want to be in a special environment. What’s the best way to do this? The objective is to modify an environment that we can intimately relate to on the basest of levels while providing for a beautiful, safe, and functional experience

Transcript of Firewise Denver Botanical Gardens (January 2013)

  • Creating an Aesthetically Appealing,Safe, and Ecologically FunctionalEnvironment
  • Harry Statter Firewise Landscapes Inc. Firewise is a Jackson, WY based Forestry and Landscape Ecology Company In addition, we operate a landscape design and installation company in the Jackson area. Firewise Landscapes combines landscape architecture with ecology and forestry to create aesthetically appealing and functional landscapes Firewise manages approximately 50,000 private acres across the West, and we consult with subdivisions, landowners, and local governments I want to thank Jessica Brown, who is a Landscape Architect with the National Park Service for her assistance in putting this presentation together
  • We live in the forest or in other environmentally appealing areas because we want to be in a special environment. Whats the best way to do this? The objective is to modify an environment that we can intimately relate to on the basest of levels while providing for a beautiful, safe, and functional experience
  • Survivable In the event of a wildfire, the property does not need defense You dont have to depend on the local fire department to exhaust their resources and try to protect your property Beautiful Innovative Design you DO NOT have to sacrifice beautiful landscape design for a safe functional property Ecological Diversity Understand the role that your property plays in the larger landscape Understand the current condition of your property. Be a naturalist.
  • Acknowledge that there will be a fire. Its not a question of if, it is a question of when. From prairie to wetland to sagebrush steppe to forest, all cover types burn. The NJ Meadowlands burn. Identify the cover type surrounding your home. Know your fire regime. When was the last burn? If you are in a prairie there are different requirements for survivability than those in a mixed conifer forest.
  • Allows you to analyze spaces in relationship to other landscape elements Organize the structure. Its a base map. Examples: Direction of sun Existing vegetation Wind direction Topography Typical site movement Microclimates Natural areas of fire protection
  • What would you like to see in your landscape and what do you need? WANTS: Outdoor sitting area Water feature Place for gardening Place for kids play area/ some traditional turfgrass BBQ location NEEDS: Truck access to septic tank Survivable space for fire adaptation
  • Zone 1 clean and green. You can have trees, but no conifer. Zone 2 include some more vertical and horizontal veg structure. No ladder fuels. Crown separation 20 Zone 3 larger vegetation component. No ladders. Crown separation 15 Zone Distances are extended on higher slope angles
  • You have a base map developed Your landscape components have been incorporated You have identified your zone requirements for survivable space Now its time for your design
  • Allows for Organic Shapes on Contours Within the Design By Simply Varying the Extents. Maybe you follow a contour. Maybe you follow a stand of trees. You can let what is naturally existing design for you. Incorporating perennials, annuals, pots, landscape ornamentation is accommodated Texture Bloom Cycles Irrigation
  • There are three sides to the fire triangle Remove any one of these components and you extinguish the fire. Modify any one of these components and you modify fires behavior. Our focus is to modify the fuel component Fuel Heat Oxygen
  • Fuel
  • Fuel Type Fuel Moisture Size and Shape Fuel Loading Horizontal Continuity Vertical Arrangement
  • Wilson, WY
  • Identify the area of the property where you are treating. Your priorities and objectives are very different in the survivable space area than in the forest. Play the role of a fire with a chainsaw Prioritize the species you want to promote MARK YOUR TREES FIRST BEFORE CUTTING Embrace the concept of fire, understand how it works so that you can be the fire Its not just what you take, but its what you leave that is the most important
  • If the understory is completely removed from the forest, there is no next forest. Removal of significant neo-tropical bird habitat, and other fauna using the understory Selecting species to promote in the understory is key, as is assuring that the residual immature canopy that is left has the chance to survive. Remove the over-story as well. Removal of over-story trees?.... Its better to encourage a young vigorous tree than an old declining tree
  • Much of our tastes and aesthetics are driven by what we feel is a natural look. But what is natural? Often people believe that doing nothing is natural, but that is NOT true. Fire adapted ecosystems like we have in the west need fire. If we remove the role of fire, these systems need some other form of disturbance. By doing nothing, we are negatively impacting these ecosystems.
  • The critical component here is human nature. It is the relationship of the person to the landscape. Are you a steward of the landscape? Diagrams, fuel moisture percentages, cross-sections of slope topography, can be analyzed and discussed. Plenty of scientific evidence that survivable space works, but it matters not without a educated, willing participant. How does that landowner see themselves, and their property, as a component in the ecosystem. Where does your property fit into the larger landscape? This is the definition of landscape ecology. What is your responsibility if the intent is to keep fire out? Without this very simple question being discussed up front, the rest is jargon. A homeowner needs to an understanding of natural.
  • Fire Adapted Ecosystems that have had fire removed have a very different appearance from those fire adapted ecosystems that have maintained a naturally occurring fire regime. Know your environments current condition For example, the forest in which you live may not be a healthy forest. Structure of the forest The pines in a late successional pine forest look sickly in comparison to the pines in an early successional phase More plants, more competition, less vigour, more stress, more pests and diseases Know your plants, know your diseases, know your pests
  • The land is dynamic and ever changing. There will be growth and change. Stay on top of the maintenance. A little on a regular basis saves money. Also, many variables are at play during a fire event. In fact, most losses in structures are from embers that blow in from the fire.
  • ISA Certified Arborist Landscape Architects Professional Foresters Firewise Landscapes Inc. Harry Statter ISA Cert Arborist RM-2336 307-732-3986
  • A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that witheach stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on theface of the land. Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac