The mission is to improve fire outcomes with respect to burn severity, recovery, and provision of ecosystem services. The Institute will bring together land managers, policy makers, stake-holders, and scientists to examine the long-term efficacy of forest treatments.
The fire regime of Utah has not been adequately characterized, making long-term planning and management of fire more difficult. The Institute seeks to quantify the "fire normals" for fires in Utah as a whole and within Utah's major vegetation types. The goal is to quantify >95% of area burned from 1984 to present and monitor area burned on an ongoing basis. The Institute will leverage the federal program Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (fires >400 ha) and add to it the area burned for smaller fires as well as calibrate the satellite data for Utah Forest types and conditions.
The Utah Forest Institute seeks to increase scientific understanding of fire in Utah, with a focus on indentifying areas where management can make a difference.
The main product of the Institute - the Utah Fire Atlas - will help move discussions of fire in Utah to a more quantitative footing.