Highlights from the 3rd Annual Cohesive Strategy Workshop

Highlights from the 3rd Annual Cohesive Strategy Workshop

Attendees from Across the Globe

Over 220 people from 47 states and four countries gathered October 22-24, 2019 in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the 3rd Cohesive Strategy Workshop.

A Special Welcome

George “Chuckie” Green, Assistant Natural Resources Director with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (left) and Matt Muratore, Massachusetts State Representative (right), welcomed over 200 wildland fire leaders, managers, scientists and practitioners from 47 states and four countries to Plymouth, Massachusetts for the 3rd Annual Cohesive Strategy Workshop to share knowledge, experiences, best practices and lessons learned about implementing the Cohesive Strategy across the nation.

Interactive Presentations about Best Practices, Lessons Learned, On-the-Ground Successes

Top: Justice Jones, Austin Fire Department; Anthony Small, Joint Fire Science Program. 2nd row: Sehoy Thrower, Poarch Band of Creek Indians; Helen Mohr, Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists/USFS. 3rd row: Joe Stutler, Western Cohesive Strategy Committee; Kacey KC, Nevada Division of Forestry; Jennifer Hansen, Utah Division of Fire, Forestry and State Lands.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Transfer

From left: Bill Tripp, Karuk Tribe; Sehoy Thrower, Poarch Band of Creek Indians; Monique Wynecoop, Pit River and Mountain Maidu Tribes; Chuckie Green, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; Frank Lake, Karuk Tribe.

One of the objectives of the Workshop was to recognize the Tribal and historical use of fire and learn more about incorporating this Traditional Ecological Knowledge into current programs. Each of the panelists are experts in various natural resource professions and shared their challenges and successes around using fire as a tool for landscape resiliency and cultural burning.

Cohesive Strategy at the State Level

Kacey KC, Nevada State Forester; Jim Karels, Florida State Foresters; Laura McCarthy, New Mexico State Forester, Brad Simpkins, New Hampshire State Forester; Pete Church, Massachusetts State Forester

State Foresters from across the US provided updates and took questions about how they are implementing the Cohesive Strategy in their states.  From local successes such as Community Wildfire Preparedness Plans to increasing the use of prescribed fire, they are supporting a variety of efforts across the US to make meaningful progress towards landscape resiliency, fire adapted communities and a safe, effective wildfire response.

Mitigating Post Fire Impacts

Ryan Buras, Deputy Director, Recovery Operations, California Office of Emergency Services; David Puckett, Fire Administrator, Sevier County, TN; Kimiko Barrett, Headwaters Economics; Jay Smith, Forest Restoration Director at Coconino County Arizona; Katie Lighthall, Coordinator, Cohesive Strategy, Western Region

Mitigating Post Fire Impacts is a widespread topic across the US. This panel included rich conversation among experts and those with tragic experiences of significant fire events followed by devastating subsequent effects. New county building standards, pre-fire flood mitigation, mental health impacts and FEMA grant management were some of the topics the panelists covered.

A Great Day for a Field Tour

A highlight of the three day workshop was the field tour that participants enjoyed to nearby Myles Standish State Forest. Massachusetts DCR Fire staff shared their experiences and efforts around increasing the use of prescribed fire, local projects and the ecological and fire history of New England.

Defining Our Future with Wildland Fire

USDA Undersecretary Jim Hubbard closed out the Workshop, sharing his thoughts about living with wildland fire and reporting that the US Forest Service, for the first time in nine years, ended the fiscal year without depleting its fire suppression budget and having to borrow funds from other projects to fight fires. Mr. Hubbard also announced the date and location for the next Workshop:

4th Annual Cohesive Strategy Workshop
October 26-30, 2020
Asheville, North Carolina