Chesapeake Marshlands Refuge Complex Completes the Mechanical Reduction of Forest Fuels


Garcia Forestry recently completed a fuels reduction contract for $110,700 for the mechanical treatment of 900 acres at Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Maryland. The contract called for chainsaw thinning of 17 forested stands surrounding the refuge complex to support hazardous fuels reduction and habitat restoration near communities in the wildlands urban interface, or fire-prone areas near public lands. Communities at risk included: Madison, Smithville, Robbins, Maple Dam Road, Bucktown/Greenbriar and Shorters Wharf.

Many private landowners, local volunteer fire departments and state collaborative partners were involved in this project. Its objectives include reducing excess fuels loads, decreasing the risk of wildfires, providing defensible space near communities, improving road access and safety for firefighters, and promoting habitat improvement and healthy forest lands.

The components of this project demonstrate exactly what the National Fire Plan calls for: contracting, mechanical fuels reduction, community protection, and state and local collaboration. This is the first and largest project of its kind in the region, and provides an ideal future demonstration site to promote the mechanical reduction of forest fuels.

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