Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Joint Fire Science Program Project

Published Aug 18, 2010

The overall goal of the Joint Fire Science Program Project was to contribute to our knowledge of historical and modern fire regimes within northern Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Specific goals were to:

  • synthesize available information on historic fire regimes;
  • map landscape ecosystems of varying susceptibility to disturbance across sixty million acres of forestlands; and
  • document how fire regimes have changed since European settlement.

Landscape ecosystems were mapped by examining relationships among physical and biological ecosystem components. Spatial data included General Land Office survey notes on tree species and diameter, fine-scale SSURGO certified Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) digital soil surveys, US Forest Service ecological landtype maps, digital elevation models, hydrography, surficial geology, landform, and current vegetation from USGS GAP and Department of Natural Resources landcover data. Landscape ecosystem boundaries coincide with NRCS soil mapping units or US Forest Service ecological landtypes where these coverages were available. In areas lacking this fine scale information, boundaries were derived from relationships between historical vegetation and topography.

The Result

Results of this project were used in the development of National Forest land management and fire management plans, to assist with fire regime condition class mapping within National Forests, interagency fire risk assessments, development of LANDFIRE reference models used in the Rapid Assessment, and implementation of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act through identification of fire-prone landscapes.


Cleland, D.,T Crow, S. Saunders, 2005, A Maclean, and D Dickman, Final Report of the Joint Fire Science Program Project
Characterizing Historic and Contemporary Fire Regimes in the Lake States, retreived July 17 2006 from <>

 Learn more:

Visit the project web site