Friday, February 12, 2016

2015 Soda Fire ESR -- A very brief introduction to the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan (1 of 2)

One of the documents that I obtained from the BLM websites is a document known as the BLM Idaho Post-Fire Recovery Plan Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation 2015 Plan (2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan). The direct link to this plan (pdf file) is here. Alternatively, it is the first document listed on this BLM web page listing all planning documents related to the Soda Fire ESR/BAER Plan.  Just so you know, I found the last link I listed on the Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Page. If you are landing on this page sometime in the future, I am never quite sure how long these links will last. I assume that because the 2015 Soda Fire ESR will be going on for another five years, that some or all of these links will be good for awhile.

I find the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Planning document a little complicated; yet I have found that this document has given me an appreciation of the complexity of the 2015 Soda Fire Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation (ESR). Writing about the details and the ins and outs of the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan is beyond the means of this blog. Knowing this, I reached out over e-mail to the Idaho BLM office involved in the ESR and asked them some questions. I will be sharing about the Question and Answer session in two posts next week (February 17th and 19th).

However, while the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan can be a little difficult to read, I did find it somewhat useful.  For those who are interested I am going to present some highlights from the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan that I have found useful in this article with part 2 posting on Monday February 15th. The 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan identifies two post fire recovery issues: emergency  stabilization and burned area rehabilitation. 

Emergency Stabilization (ES) and Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) Objectives and Issues

Emergency stabilization (ES) objectives are to “determine the need for and to prescribe and implement emergency treatments to minimize threats to life or property or to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources resulting from the effects of a fire. …ES Issues:
  • ES Issue 1 - Human Life and Safety
  • ES Issue 2 - Soil/Water Stabilization
  • ES Issue 3 - Habitat for Threatened and Endangered Species
  • ES Issue 4 - Cultural Heritage Resources
  • ES Issue 5 - Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species” (2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan, p. 5)

Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) Objectives are: “ 1)To evaluate actual and potential long-term post-fire impacts to critical cultural and natural resources and identify those areas unlikely to recover naturally from severe wildland fire damage, 2) to develop and implement cost-effective plans to emulate historical or pre-fire ecosystem structure, function, diversity, and dynamics consistent with approved land management plans, or if that is infeasible, then to restore or establish a healthy, stable ecosystem in which native species are well represented, and 3) to repair or replace minor facilities damaged by wildland fire. … BAR Issues:
  • BAR Issue 1 - Lands Unlikely to Recover Naturally
  • BAR Issue 2 - Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species
  • BAR Issue 3 - Tree Planting
  • BAR Issue 4 - Repair or Replace Fire Damaged Facilities” (2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan, p. 6)


ES and BAR efforts under the 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan are divided into different areas of concern (see note 1) two of which are wildlife (including but not limited to the sage grouse, noxious weeds, and riparian and aquatics. Treatments are divided into two groups: ES (S) and BAR (R). All but one of the treatment categories are the same for both Emergency Stabilization — ES (S) and Burned Area Rehabilitation — BAR (R). To keep it simple I am only listing the treatment categories once. You will see prefixes (S/R) listed in all but one case (monitoring) indicating that the treatment category falls under both ES and BAR (2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan, p. 11):
  • S/R2 Ground Seeding 
  • S/R3 Aerial Seeding 
  • S/R4 Seedling Planting 
  • S/R5 Noxious Weeds 
  • S/R6 Soil Stabilization 
  • S/R7 Fence/Gate/Cattleguard 
  • S/R8 Road/Trail Water Diversion 
  • S/R9 Cultural Protection 
  • S/R10 Tree Hazard Removal 
  • S/R11 Facilities 
  • S/R12 Closures (Area, OHV, Livestock) 
  • S13 Monitoring
  • S/R14 Other Treatments 
Here are four of examples of treatments:

In my next post on Monday February 15th, I will go into a little more detail about some of the treatments from 2015 Soda Fire ESR Plan.

Note 1 (added on February 15, 2016 3:10 PM EST): I have edited this article to reflect last minute changes that I have made in part 2.

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