Due to the on-going case surge in COVID cases the 2022 NWSA annual meeting on March 16-17th was held virtually and hosted by Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State University).
Dr. Paul Hessburg, PNW Research Station USDA Forest Service
“Wildfire and climate change adaptation of western US Forests"
Forest landscapes across western North America (wNA) have experienced extensive changes over the last two centuries, while climatic warming has become a rapidly expanding global reality over the last four decades. Resulting interactions between historical increases in forested area and density and recent rapid warming, increasing insect mortality, and wildfire burned areas, are now leading to substantial abrupt landscape alterations. These outcomes are forcing forest planners and managers to identify strategies that can modify future outcomes that are ecologically and/or socially undesirable. Past forest management, including widespread harvest of fire- and climate-tolerant large old trees and old forests, fire exclusion (both Indigenous and lightning ignitions), and highly effective wildfire suppression have contributed to the current state of wNA forests. These practices were successful at meeting short-term demands, but they match poorly to modern realities. I will concisely relate the findings in a recent trilogy of invited review articles. First, I will summarize a century of research reviewed in Hagmann et al. (2021) that details widespread changes in forested landscapes and wildfire regimes since the influx of European colonists. Next, I will recap research by Prichard et al. (2021) that addressed 10 common questions surrounding application and relevance of management practices historically applied by Indigenous tribes and currently applied by some managers to intentionally manage forests for climate adapted-resilient conditions. I will close by recapping recommendations for intentional adaptive management made in a third paper by Hessburg et al. (2021). To do so, I will discuss progress paralysis that can occur with strict adherence to the precautionary principle; offer insights for dealing with the problem of irreducible uncertainty; provide suggestions for reframing management and policy direction; and identify key knowledge gaps and research needs.
Keith Parker, Yurok Tribe
“Traditional ecological knowledge in the Klamath River Basin: a salmon and lamprey case study”
For tens of thousands of years, salmon, sturgeon, lamprey, and other fish have been keystone cultural species for Native American tribes of the Klamath River Basin. Such a long-term successful relationship exemplifies indigenous people’s ability to maintain a sustainable fishery. This illustrates the depth of knowledge tribes possess regarding fish and water management. As a tribal scientist, my work merges the paradigms of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and western ecological knowledge. Walking on both paths creates many challenges as the two concepts have significantly contrasting worldviews. The TEK worldview embodies that living resources and culture are singular, with nature completely intertwined with humanity. Language, ceremony, cultural construct, and food sources evolved synchronously. From a TEK conservation perspective, species loss not only represents a loss of biodiversity but a loss of cultural heritage as well. Therefore, protecting the remaining biodiversity on aboriginal lands is not optional because indigenous people and animal species share a common vulnerability – a struggle for survival. At the core of tribal sovereignty is food sovereignty. Traditional foods are a foundational part of tribal cultures which feed much more than physical bodies. Traditional foods feed Spirits because these foods represent a living link with the land. We truly are what we eat, we eat the earth.
Dr. Faith Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources
“Getting to the heart of science communication”
From droughts to fires to climate change, many issues that scientists and science communicators work on are highly emotional, often contentious, and sometimes traumatizing, with high stakes for practitioners -- who are often in precarious positions -- and communities alike. Relating, listening, working with conflict, and understanding trauma, all with an eye toward justice, are key tools in the 21st century science communication toolkit. Using examples from her own and other’s work, Dr. Kearns will also share tips on navigating sometimes difficult discussions.
Special Session- Climate and Climate Change
1:00 – 1:20 pm Michael Town- Air temperature and snow extent from iButton temperature measurements on the southern aspect of Mt. Baker, WA USA
1:20 – 1:40 pm Constance Harrington- Effect of June 2021 Heat Event on Diameter Growth of Trees in Western Washington and Oregon
1:40 – 2:00 pm Robert Andrus- Climate effects on western red cedar decline: evidence from tree rings
2:00 – 2:20 pm Dan Gavin- Geological and historical evidence of a record flood in 1867 in western Washington
2:20 – 2:40 pm Matt Reilly- Contemporary forest change in a diverse montane landscape: Lesson learned from the Russian Wilderness, northern California, USA
1:20 – 1:40 pm David Wright- Forest vegetation structure and snowshoe hare relative occupancy in young managed western larch stands in the Northern Rockies
1:40 – 2:00 pm Sky Button- Monitoring terrestrial salamanders in the Pacific Northwest using aquatic eDNA
2:00 – 2:20 pm Rachel Zitomer- Forest age and floral resource availability drive native bee abundance and diversity in intensively managed forests of the Oregon Coast Range
2:20 – 2:40 pm Nick Kerhoulas- Comparative biogeography of the southwestern Pacific Northwest
2:40 – 3:00 pm Janelle Chojnacki- Movement and resource use of an anthropogenically subsidized avian predator and implications for a threatened shorebird
Contributed Session-Ecosystem Dynamics and Management
1:00 – 1:20 pm Andrew Gray- What are the ecological benefits of Wilderness on the west coast?
1:20 – 1:40 pm Mara Gans- Geotagging the wilderness: exploring the relationship between social media geotags and wilderness visitation in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
1:40 – 2:00 pm Richarda Pӓtsch- Bedrock Meadows – Species assembly and functional patterns of a distinct and overlooked vegetation type in the North American Interior Northwest
2:00 – 2:20 pm Viktoria Wagner- Non-native invasions in native prairie grasslands of Alberta, Canada
2:20 – 2:40 pm Rachelle Lugar- Long term effects of forb-selective herbicides on grassland communities
2:40 – 3:00 pm Gabriel Roletti- Diversity of conifer responses to drought across habitat and competitive gradients in northern California
Special Session- Fostering Fire Resilience in the Northwest
9:00 – 9:20 pm Alan Tepley- Regional variation in the strength of fire-vegetation feedbacks and resistance to reburning across the North American boreal forest
9:20 – 9:40 pm Keala Hagmann- Contemporary wildfires further degrade resistance and resilience of fire-excluded forests in central and southcentral Oregon
9:40 – 10:00 pm Brian Harvey- Forest fires in western Cascadia: Drivers, characteristics, and indicators of post-fire resilience
10:00 – 10:20 pm Melissa Jaffe- Fate of early twentieth century high-severity fires: fuels and forest structure of different fire histories
10:20 – 10:40 pm Andrew Merschel- Old-growth Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii forests developed with frequent mixed-severity fire in the southern western Cascades of Oregon, USA
10:40 – 11:00 pm James Johnston- New fire histories from the western Oregon Cascades
11:00 – 11:20 pm Graham Frank- Diversity and composition of early seral forest bird assemblages: Does disturbance type matter?
11:20 – 11:40 pm Robert Van Pelt- Similarities and differences of post fire response between coast redwood and giant sequoia, using the August 2020 lightning siege as an example
11:40 – 12:00 pm Harold Zald- Long-term tree regeneration responses to thinning and prescribed burning in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest, California USA
Contributed Session-Ecosystem Dynamics and Management
9:00 – 9:20 pm Lucy Kerhoulas- Physiological responses to conifer encroachment and removal in a northern California oak woodland
9:20 – 9:40 pm Jill Beckmann- Douglas-fir encroachment reduces drought resistance in Oregon white oak of northern California
9:40 – 10:00 pm Andrew Stubblefield- Monitoring impacts of timber harvest and landslides, Railroad Gulch, Elk River, California
10:00 – 10:20 pm Yianna Bekris- Impacts of variable-density thinning on understory diversity and non-native plants over 17 years in Olympic Peninsula forests
10:20 – 10:40 pm Stephen Quick- How is carbon affected by active forest management for old-growth forest conditions?
10:40 – 11:00 pm Wallis Robinson- Effects of long-term drought on conifers across northern California
11:00 – 11:20 pm Sophia Lemmo- Tree mortality and regeneration trends in northern California
Contributed Session- Fisheries
9:00 – 9:20 pm Emily Cooper-Hertel- Assessing Trinity River restoration of juvenile Chinook Salmon habitat with a physical capacity model and considerations for incorporating bioenergetic components
9:20 – 9:40 pm Z Zenobia- Status of night smelt Spirinchus starksi populations in Humboldt and Del Norte
9:40 – 10:00 pm Katie Terhaar- A characterization of the northern California sandy beach surf zone fish and macroinvertebrate community and the effect of marine protected areas
10:00 – 10:20 pm Mathew Campbell- The origin and purity of Oncorhynchus mykiss in the Wood River Basin of Central Idaho
10:20 – 10:40 pm Deon Roche- Post-mortem changes of egg viability in hatchery-raised Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Special Session- Fostering Fire Resilience in the Northwest
1:00 – 1:20 pm Jill Beckmann- Did large-scale prescribed underburning treatments reduce fire severity at Whiskeytown NRA during the 2018 Carr Fire?
1:20 – 1:40 pm Heather Rickard- Factors contributing to legacy hardwood mortality following prescribed fire in Karuk Ancestral Territory
1:40 – 2:00 pm Kelsey Fletterick- The temporal window for post-fire sexual reproduction by conifers
2:00 – 2:20 pm Madeline Lopez- Investigating seed maturation and mortality: A mechanism for post-fire regeneration in non-serotinous conifers
2:20 – 2:40 pm Sean Lindley- Facultative serotiny: Predicting successful post-fire recruitment of non-serotinous conifer species as a function of masting behavior and the timing and severity of wildfire
Special Session- Long-term Dynamics of Ecosystems of Northwestern North America
1:00 – 1:20 pm Camille Giuliano- Holocene fire history and links to changes in forest composition and climate in south-coastal British Columbia, Canada
1:20 – 1:40 pm Katherine Hayes- Establishing baseline patterns of fire in old-growth coast-redwood forests using soil carbon and charcoal
1:40 – 2:00 pm Clarke Knight- Land management explains major trends in forest structure and composition over the last millennium in California’s Klamath Mountains
2:00 – 2:20 pm Patrick Pringle- Tree-ring dating of the electron mudflow, a large clay-rich lahar from Mount Rainier, to late 1507 CE
2:20 – 2:40 pm John Orcutt- Palaeogale and sexual dimorphism in the carnivoran fossil record
2:40 – 3:00 pm Jamilla Baig- Paleolimnological history of Gold Lake using geochemical signatures of organic matter, Willamette National Forest, Oregon, USA