Using the adaptive management process to develop a monitoring program on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and The Nature Conservancy's Warm Springs Mountain PreserveThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (GWJNF) in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy began planning a monitoring program utilizing adaptive management methods to guide prescribed burning in 2008. The development of a successful monitoring program requires extensive research, planning, and cooperation between fire management officers and ecologists to establish measurable burn objectives. Working together, the GWJNF and The Nature Conservancy developed monitoring protocols then utilized the database Feat and Firemon Integrated (FFI), free software developed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote data storage easily used and shared between multiple agencies. The data, once collected in the field and entered into the FFI database, is statistically analyzed, and those objectives identified in the burn plan are reviewed. Management action alteration is dependent upon the results generated from data collection. As management adapts, the cycle continues, allowing land managers to apply scientific principles and knowledge in restoring landscapes to historical fire regimes.