Research and Management Publications


The Forest Stewards Guild research program carries out the Guild's mission by synthesizing and conducting scientific research to support our science based advocacyfield meetingsModel Forests, and members' land stewardship. Science goes hand in hand with Guild member's place-based experience to guide the practice of ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry. Guild research plays a key role as a moderating voice in forest debates because we strive to balance the ecological and economic concerns that are often in conflict. We develop informational resources that help people and communities who are engaged in forest stewardship. We also assist research scientists and organizations in incorporating the place-based experiential knowledge, perspectives, and needs of foresters and other natural resource professionals.

Current Research at the Guild

Climate Change, Carbon, and Forests

The Guild research seeks to identify how forests and forestry can resist the impacts of climate change, mitigate its effects, and adapt to changing conditions. Our 2020 synthesis report, Moving the Needle: A Review of Needs to Increase Climate Adaptation in the Forests of New England, provides an update on how forest managers are adapting forests to the changing climate today, as well as steps for overcoming barriers to forest climate adaptation.

Forest Biomass

The Guild has worked for more than a decade to establish science-based guidelines for use of forest biomass for energy. Our expertise is in the forest, so our work has focused on understanding how the forest should look after a harvest. A series of science-synthesis reports documented the importance of dead wood in Northeast, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, and Californian forests. Based on the need for snags, large downed logs, fine woody material, and other forest elements, and a review of existing guidelines, we developed biomass harvesting guidelines: 

Wildfire and Communities

In fire-adapted forests, understanding wildfire and its impacts on ecosystems and communities is one of the central forest management challenges of our generation. The Guild’s research has touched a range of the issues as follows 

Prescribed Fire and Management of Wildfires

Prescribed fire is a crucial tool for restoring forests and protecting from negative fire effects. The Guild is engaged in research to understand how to facilitate more prescribed fire, particularly for private landowners. For more information, see the report Prescribed Fire on Private Land in New MexicoWe are also working with a research team from the US Forest Service and Northern Arizona University to understand how managers can use naturally ignited wildfires to benefit forests and communities. 

Ecological Forestry

The Guild is committed to supporting ecological forestry, which requires a firm scientific foundation. Often this means synthesizing existing research and presenting it in a format useful to managers and landowners. For example, we are working with partners to encourage conservation and holistic management in wetland forests as described in the report Ecological Forestry Practices for Bottomland Hardwood ForestsIn some cases, economic factors determine whether or not forests are managed in an ecologically responsible manner. In Wisconsin, we studied how forest practices and range of constraints on harvesting is affecting forests and forestry and published a report.

Research and management publications


Old-Growth and Mature Forests in Relation to the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, October 2023

2022 Wildfire Season: An Overview, Southwestern United States, August 2023

2-3-2 Cohesive Strategy Partnership Multiparty Monitoring Plan, Edition 1, spring 2023

Managed Wildfire: a research synthesis and overview, April 2023.

Forestry for the Birds: Western Oregon Guide, February 2023.


Logger Engagement and Retention: Surveying what matters in a quality logging operation across the U.S., July 2022.

2021 Wildfire Season: An Overview, July 2022

Oak Resiliency Assessment Tool in PDF, 2022

Pathways to Prescribed Fire: three case studies highlighting opportunities for community-based nonprofits to build cooperative burning capacity. March, 2022

Wetlands Restoration and Conservation Incentive Programs in the State of Georgia, Jan 2022.


Economic Impacts from the USDA Forest Service's Collaborative Forest Restoration Program 2001-2016, Aug 2021.

2020 Wildfire Season: An Overview Southwestern US, July 2021

Investing in Wildfire Prevention. May 2021.


Expanding the use of prescribed fire in New Mexico, final report. June 2020.

For Landowners: 10 Recommendations to Help You Manage Ash in Your Woods. Dec 2020.

For Foresters: Ten Recommendations for Managing Ash, July 2020.

2019 Wildfire Season: An Overview Southwestern US, June 2020

Monitoring Update: Restoration Objectives in the Zuni Mountains CFLR Landscape, March 2020.

Insights and Suggestions for Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Programs, February 2020

Working together to increase the pace and scale of prescribed fire. A Case Study by the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, January 2020

Moving the Needle: A Review of Needs to Increase Climate Adaptation in the Forests of New England, January 2020


Assessment of Forest and Woodland Treatment Effects on Wildlife, 2019

Prescribed Fire on Private Land in New Mexico, December 2019

2018 Wildfire Season: An Overview Southwestern US, June 2019

Research on the ecological effects of slash pile burning, 2019.

Snake River Landscape Stewardship Plan


2017 Wildfire Season: An Overview Southwestern US, May 2018

Increasing wildfire awareness and reducing human-caused ignitions in Northern New Mexico, March 2018 (summary)

Great Santa Fe Fireshed Factsheet: Demystifying NEPA, March 2017

Great Santa Fe Fireshed Factsheet: Tree Rings and Fire History, February 2017


Putting Good Fire on the Ground: Rio Trampas TREX, October 2017

Cannon River Watershed Landscape Stewardship Plan Summary, July 2017

Zumbro River Watershed Landscape Stewardship Plan Summary, July 2017

2016 Wildfire Season: An Overview Southwestern US, May 2017

Controlled Burning on Private Land in New Mexico, May 2017

Home Hazard Assessment Guide, March 2017

Home Hazard Assessment Worksheet, July 2017 (to be used with the guide)

Rhode Island Woodland Partnership Strategic Plan, January 2017


Fire as an Ecosystem Process: The Black Lake Burn, December 2016

2015 Wildfire Season: An Overview, Southwestern U.S., May 2016

Ecological Forestry Practices for Bottomland Hardwood Forests of the Southeastern U.S., May 2016 (download a printer-friendly version here)

Economic and Ecological Effects of Forest Practices and Harvesting Constraints on Wisconsin’s Forest Resources and Economy, February 2016


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation Activities in the Wildland-Urban Interface, November, 2015 (read a summary here

Burning Across Fence Lines, 2015

2014 Wildfire Season: An Overview, Southwestern U.S.August, 2015


The State of Forests and Forestry in the Androscoggin Valley-Mahoosuc region, September 2014

A Buyer’s Guide to Sourcing Wood Heating Fuel in the Northeastern U. S., May, 2014

2013 Wildfire Season: An Overview, Southwestern U.S., February, 2014

Restoration and Resilience in New Jersey's Forests, February, 2014


Forests to Faucets: Protecting upstream forests for clean water downstream, July 2013

Forest Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Pacific Northwest, April, 2013


Forest Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Southeast, February, 2012

Biomass Supply and Carbon Accounting for Southeastern Forests, February, 2012


A comprehensive guide to fuels treatment practices for mixed conifer forests: California, Central and Southern Rockies, and the Southwest, May 2011

Ecology of Dead Wood in the Southeast, February 2011

Carbon Accounting and Management of Lying Dead Wood, January 2011


Black Lake Forest Restoration and Workforce Sustainability Project, Grant # CFRP 09-08, Multiparty Monitoring Report, November, 2010

Forest Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Northeast, June, 2010

Ecology of Dead Wood in the Northeast, June, 2010

Revised Assessment of Biomass Harvesting and Retention Guidelines, June, 2010


Valle Grande II Collaborative Restoration Project Socioeconomic Monitoring Report, January 2009 (link coming soon)

An Assessment of Biomass Harvesting Guidelines, January 2009

Assessing the Socioeconomic Benefits of New Mexico's Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP):Issues, Indicators, and recommendations, January 2009


Monitoring the long term ecological impacts of New Mexico's Collaborative Forest Restoration Program, December 2008

Climate Change and Mixed Conifer / Aspen Systems in New Mexico: Considerations for Managers, December 2008

Managing Forests in the Face of Climate Change: A summary of the New Mexico Forestry and Climate Change Workshop, December 2008

A Market-Based Approach to Community Wood Energy: An Opportunity for Consulting Foresters, November 2008

Synthesis of Knowledge from Biomass Removal Case Studies, September 2008

Community Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, August 2008

Engaging Socially Vulnerable Populations in Community Wildfire Protection Plans, August 2008

Harnessing the Power of Local Wood Energy, August 2008

Short Guide for Developing CFRP Restoration Prescriptions, January 2008

Social and Economic Issues in Landscape Scale Restoration, January 2008


Community Owned Forests: An Example from the Southwest, December 2007

Climate Change, Carbon, and the Forests of the Northeast, December 2007

Navigating the Motives and Mandates of Multiparty Monitoring, September 2007

Maltreatment and Injustice: An Overview of the Plight of Latino Forest Workers in the Southeast, August 2007

Measuring Community Capacity for Protection from Wildfire, February 2007

An Evaluation of Fuel Reduction Projects and the Healthy Forests Initiative, January 2007

Workbook for Community Monitoring of Federal Fuel Reduction Projects, January 2007


Ensuring Sustainable Forests through Working Forest Conservation Easements, June 2006


Fuel Reduction Projects in Southwest Ponderosa Pine Forests: A Description of Sites and Treatments, June 2004

State of the National Fire Plan, April 2004

Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Informing Bosque Restoration at Tesuque Pueblo, 2004


An Evaluation of Fuel Reduction Projects in the Eastern Cibola National Forest, November 2003

Understanding Condition Class: An Evaluation of its Application at the National Forest Level,June 2003

Condition Class of America's Lands: Appropriate Applications at the National Scale, June 2003

Modifying Wildfire Behavior: The Effectiveness of Fuel Treatments, April 2003


Distribution of Timber Sales on Dixie and Fishlake National Forests, 1985–2001, December 2002


Annotated Bibliography: Fuel Treatments and Fire Behavior, November 2001

Distribution of Timber Sales on Northern New Mexico National Forests 1992–1999:
Are Small and Medium Sized Businesses Getting Their Share?
November 2001