Watershed Management: FORREX Forum hosts ‘Wildfire and Watershed Hydrology Workshop’ in June 2009


Workshop Background:

“The 2003 wildfire season was one of the most catastrophic in recorded history for British Columbia, Alberta, and the western US. Since 2003 there have been other particularly busy fire seasons throughout these regions,” notes Kevin Bladon of the FORREX Forum for Research and Extension in Natural Resources (FORREX).

“The trends of increased occurrence of large and severe wildfires along with longer fire seasons are predicted to continue during dry years. Natural disturbances, such as wildfire, can have significant impacts on geomorphic processes and watershed functions.”

“However, information describing the potential impacts of wildfire and post-fire land management (e.g., salvage logging) on a range of watershed values, including water quantity, water quality, and aquatic ecology, is very limited.”

According to Kevin Bladon, the recent wildfire events have led to a considerable amount of research on the hydrologic and geomorphic effects of wildfire. Many important questions have been addressed, such as:

  • What are the effects of wildfire on hydrologic and geomorphic processes?
  • What impacts does wildfire have on water quality?
  • How long do the impacts last?
  • Are these effects propagated downstream?
  • How can adverse impacts of wildfire be prevented, mitigated, or otherwise minimized?
  • What planning and remediation measures have been developed?
  • How will the mountain pine beetle infestation along with climate change influence fire frequency and severity, and what does that mean for watersheds?


Workshop Objectives:

“The objectives of this workshop are to provide new information/knowledge to assist decision making and to provide feedback to researchers to help refine research plans and interpretation of results,” continues Kevin Bladon. “A secondary goal is to aid participants in developing new collaborative opportunities by providing a forum for discussion and sharing of ideas.”


Who Should Attend:

The target audience includes all individuals who need information/knowledge on the potential hydrologic and geomorphic impacts of wildfire and post-wildfire land management activities (e.g., salvage logging). This includes individuals interested in the effects of wildfire on forest resources from a forest management perspective, and also water users/purveyors interested in the downstream effects of headwater disturbance. Audiences include foresters, engineers, water purveyors, academia, researchers, consultants, government, industry, First Nations, watershed stewardship groups, and interested public.

For registration information, click on this link to the FORREX website.

NOTE: This workshop will be held in conjunction with the Mountain Pine Beetle and Water Management Workshop on June 2, 2009.


Posted April 14, 2009