The Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC), a research, development, and applications unit of Pacific Northwest Research Station, was created in 2005 to predict, detect, and assess existing and potential environmental threats to western wildlands. Syntheses, models, and application tools will be developed and shared about wildfire risks, fuels management, climate change impacts, exotic invasives and native outbreaks, and how these threats are translated across the landscape. Interdisciplinary and cross-boundary analyses are also conducted, such as understanding human perceptions of fire risk, or conducting and combining socioeconomic and biophysical vulnerability assessments. WWETAC is in Prineville, Oregon, co-located with the Ochoco National Forest headquarters. Our sister center, the Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC), based in Asheville, North Carolina, is focused on similar environmental threats in the eastern U.S.
Mission and Objectives
The mission of the Center is to generate and integrate knowledge and information to provide credible prediction, early detection, and quantitative assessment of environmental threats in the western United States. The goal of WWETAC is to inform policy and support the management of environmental threats to western wildlands. The objectives of WWETAC are to:
Evaluate the effects and consequences of multiple, interacting stresses on western wildland health.
Increase knowledge of the risks, uncertainties, and benefits of multiple environmental stresses on western ecological conditions and socioeconomic values.
Provide science-based decision-support tools for policy formulation and land management in the western United States.
Provide land managers with credible predictions of potential severe disturbances in the West with sufficient warning for managers to take preventive actions.
WWETAC is jointly funded and run by the three deputy areas of the Forest Service: the National Forest System, State and Private Forestry, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station. We have a small permanent staff, but benefit from a large number of federal and university analysts and scientists. Our cooperators include resource specialists and land managers from the western Forest Service regions (1-6, 10), scientists from the three western Research Stations of the Forest Service, many of the western universities, and a number of agencies (e.g., NASA, USGS, NPS).
Federal, state, tribal, and private land managers
Federal, state, county, and community watershed and forest planners
The Alaska Wood Utilization Research and Development Center (AWURDC) was established in 1999 to “unify and enhance opportunities for economic assistance to workers, families, businesses, and communities affected by the changing timber industry in Southeast Alaska" (former Department of Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman). AWURDC provides research, tools, and new ideas for improving economic growth in southeast Alaska communities.
Research highlights include exploring feasibility of using wood for power generation, optimizing kiln-drying methods, and work to create a durable wood products industry in Alaska. Wood products research ranges from consumer preferences for consumer goods to supply chain dynamics and wood energy markets.
The Center is co-located with Tongass National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Sitka, Alaska.
Scientists at the lab include research foresters and economists. Other temporary staff, such as Student Conservation Association interns, occasionally increase staffing levels.