SC Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy

Statewide Forest Resource Strategy

Protecting South Carolina’s Forests from Harm

 

Prescribed Burning
Forest managers in South Carolina conduct prescribed burns on about 525,000 acres each year.  Experts agree that nearly twice this amount needs to receive this treatment, but obstacles such as smoke management and liability concerns, fragmentation of forest land, and changing attitudes about prescribed burning make increasing the amount of acreage burned a major challenge.

Wildfire Risk
Nearly 3,000 wildfires occur each year in South Carolina, two-thirds of which originate from escaped debris burns or are deliberately set.  With the growth in the state’s population, more and more of these fires damage not only timber and wildlife habitat, but also homes and other structures. 

Forest Health Threats
The threats to the health of the forests in South Carolina include native, non-native but naturalized, and non-native plants, diseases, and insects.  The three most significant threats to South Carolina’s forests currently are southern pine beetle, Sirex wood wasp, and cogongrass.  They are important because of their potential economic, aesthetic, and ecological impacts. 

 

Goal:  Protect South Carolina’s forests from threats such as wildfires, insect and disease attacks, and invasive species.

 



Objective 3.1:   Ensure prompt and effective response to wildfires and other natural disasters.

Performance Measures:  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) Decreased fire size as measured by the mean number of acres burned;
2) Reduced response time to fires as measured from the time a call is received to the time a suppression unit is on-site; and
3) Reduced relative fire size as compared to the mean fire size in the Southeast.

Resources Needed:  Equipment and personnel needed to maintain a 170-unit operating force; upgraded radios for dispatch.

 


Strategy 3.1.1:   Serve as a primary point of contact for 9-1-1 centers, fire departments, and the public.  Forestry Commission dispatch operations will be current with technology, equipment, and staffing to support the agency's statewide fire dispatch, smoke management, and emergency communication roles.

National Objectives Supported
(see Appendix 4)

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders
(see Appendix 5)

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported
(see Appendix 6)

2.1

Fire Management

Fire Service

Wildfire Risk

PF 1,2,3,4,5, 6, 7, 8

 

Training & Safety

SC EMD

 

 

 

Information Technology

SC DHEC

 

 

 

 

County 911 Centers

 

 

 


Strategy 3.1.2:   Increase emphasis on training Forestry Commission personnel and cooperators in the Incident Command System (ICS) and general wildfire suppression tactics.  Seek out non-fire and additional opportunities to use ICS and complete task books.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

PF 1,2,3,4,5,7,9

 

Training & Safety

Forest Industry

 

 

 

Information Technology

State Land Management Agencies

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 


Strategy 3.1.3:   Cooperate with Emergency Management Division, fire departments, and other emergency response organizations.  Explore opportunities to train and utilize private and/or non traditional cooperators.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

Fire Service

Wildfire Risk

PF 1,2,3,4,5,7,9

3.3

Training & Safety

SC Emergency Management Division

 

 

 

Information Technology

SC DHEC

 

 

 

 

S.C. Fire Marshall's Office

 

 

 


Strategy 3.1.4:   Evaluate staffing, equipment and technology to ensure adequate response to all wildfires and other disasters within the scope of the SC Forestry Commission's mission.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

PF 1,2,3,4,5,7,9

3.3

Training & Safety

SC Emergency Management Division

 

 

 

Information & Education

 

 

 

 

Information Technology

 

 

 

 


Objective 3.2:  Evaluate and develop wildfire protection strategies, priorities and capabilities as urban development into forested areas creates additional hazards.

Performance Measures:  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) reduction in the number of structures lost to wildfire; 2) increase in the number of FireWise communities; 3) increase in the number of CWPPs; 4) increase in the number of local fire departments that have received wildfire training; and 5) evidence of cooperative agreements with non-traditional partners.

Resources Needed:  Funding for personnel to conduct assessments, design plans and deliver training; and equipment that would allow for low impact fire suppression.

 


Strategy 3.2.1:   Redefine and strengthen the cooperative relationship with local fire departments as urban developments expand into forested areas.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1, 3.3

Fire Management

Fire Service

Wildfire Risk

OA 5

 

Community Forestry

SC U&CF Council

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

 

 

Local Governments

 

 

 

 

SC Fire Marshall's Office

 

 

 

 

Local Fire Departments

 

 

 

 

Homeowners Associations

 

 

 

 

Private Landowners

 

 

 



Strategy 3.2.2:   Implement low-impact suppression techniques where applicable.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

OA 5

3.3

Community Forestry

SC U&CF Council

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

SC DNR

 

 

 

 

Natural Resource Organizations

 

 

 

 

Local Fire Departments

 

 

 


Strategy 3.2.3:   Incorporate a FireWise approach to wildland urban interface areas by identifying communities at risk through hazard assessment, developing wildfire protection plans for communities, developing education/awareness efforts for communities, and developing fuel management strategies.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

SC State Fire Chief's Assoc.

Wildfire Risk

OA 5

3.3

Community Forestry

USDA Forest Service

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

 

Information & Education

SC Urban & Community Council

 

 

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

SC DNR

 

 

 

 

Local Governments

 

 

 

 

Developers

 

 

 

 

American Planning Association

 

 

 


Strategy 3.2.4:  Continue to promote fire prevention and emphasize wildfire prevention through the deployment of fire prevention teams during Fire Prevention Week and periods of high wildfire occurrence.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

OA 5

3.3

Community Forestry

Fire Service

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

 

Information and Education  

SC U&CF Council

 

 

 

 

Local Fire Departments

 

 

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

 

 


Strategy 3.2.5:   Seek out non-traditional partners who may provide assistance with changing fire protection issues.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

2.1

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

OA 5

3.3

Community Forestry

Fire Service

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

 

 

SC DHEC

 

 

 

 

SC U&CF Council

 

 

 

 

SC DNR

 

 

 

 

Natural Resource Associations

 

 

 


Strategy 3.2.6:   Promote prescribed burning to restore fire-adapted lands to reduce the risk of wildfire impacts.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

USDA Forest Service

Wildfire Risk

CWF 11

2.1

Forest Management

SC DNR

Conserve Working Forests

PF 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10

3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7

Forest Stewardship

Forest Industry

 

OA 5, 10

 

 

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

EB 8

 

 

Natural Resource Associations

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

Prescribed Fire Council

 

 

 

 

Conservation Organizations

 

 

 

 

DHEC

 

 

 


Objective 3.3:   Lead in law enforcement services in wildfire and forest product theft and fraud arenas.

Performance Measures:  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) an increase in the number of successful prosecutions as measured by the percent of successful/total prosecutions; and 2) the number of certified officers.

Resources Needed:  Funding to maintain an adequate-sized law enforcement staff and improved technology for investigations.

 


Strategy 3.3.1:   Provide forest product theft awareness and prevention training to SCFC personnel, landowners, and cooperators.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.2

Law Enforcement

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

CWF 3, 6

2.1

Forest Management

SC Forestry Association

 

OA 2

3.4, 3.5, 3.7

Information & Education

Clemson Extension Service

 

 

 

Training & Safety

Forest Industry

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 


Strategy 3.3.2:   Develop and enforce a standardized procedures manual for field investigation and prosecution of cases involving violations of burning, timber theft, or other laws.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.2

Law Enforcement

SC Criminal Justice Academy

Conserve Working Forests

PF 1,2,3,4,5

2.1

Fire Management

SLED

Wildfire Risk

CWF 3,6,7,8

3.4

Information & Education

SC Forestry Association

 

 

 

 

SC Timber Producers Association

 

 

 

 

Local Law Enforcement Organizations

 

 

 

 

US Forest Service

 

 

Strategy 3.3.3:   Continue to implement a Class 1 Certification Program for SC Forestry Commission officers and investigators.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.2

Law Enforcement

SC Criminal Justice Academy

Conserve Working Forests

PF 1,2,3,4,5

2.1

Fire Management

SLED

Wildfire Risk

CWF 3,6,7,8

3.4

 

 

 

 

 


Strategy 3.3.4:   Review law enforcement officer staffing levels and adjust accordingly.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.2

Law Enforcement

SC Criminal Justice Academy

Conserve Working Forests

PF 1,2,3,4,5

2.1

Fire Management

SLED

Wildfire Risk

CWF 3,6,7,8

3.4

 

 

 

 

 


Objective 3.4:   Detect, identify, and respond promptly to forest pests (insects, diseases, non-native plants, and invasive species).

Outcomes and Performance Measures:  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) early detection and rapid response to forest pest problems as measured by evidence that all pests identified as major or moderate threats or Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) in the assessment are identified as appropriate; 2) number of workshops conducted, number of educational materials distributed, and positive responses to participant surveys (how useful they have found information); and 3) response time from the time at which Forest Health Section is notified or detects a forest pest until a recommendation is made.

Resources Needed:   Cooperators, projects with other agencies in South Carolina, funding for personnel and equipment, technology to assist with data collection and analysis.

 


Strategy 3.4.1:  Provide education and training to agency foresters, technicians, and cooperators (consulting foresters, industry foresters, federal agencies in combination with USFS, other state agencies, (PRT, DNR, DOT, for example), and other organizations) on survey techniques, identification and control of forest pests, and integrated pest management.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Forest Health

USDA Forest Service

Threats to Forest Health

OA 10, 12

2.2

Forest Management

SC DNR

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8,9,10,11,12,13

3.4, 3.5, 3.7

State Forests

State Land Mgt. Agencies

Community Forestry

CWF 3,6,7,8,11

 

Community Forestry

Clemson Extension Service

 

 

 

Training & Safety

Association of Consulting Foresters

 

 

 

 

Forest Industry

 

 

 

 

SC Forestry Association

 

 

 

 

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

USDA APHIS

 

 

 

 

Clemson DPI

 

 

 


Strategy 3.4.2:   Conduct continuous monitoring of forest pests (insects, diseases, non-native plants, and invasive species).

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Forest Health

USDA Forest Service

Threats to Forest Health

OA 10, 12

2.2

Forest Management

USDA APHIS

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8,9,10,11,12,13

3.4, 3.5, 3.7

State Forests

State Land Mgt. Agencies

Community Forestry

CWF 3,6,7,8,11

 

Community Forestry

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

Clemson DPI

 

 

 


Strategy 3.4.3:   Provide detailed field or lab evaluation of specific forest pest problems for use by land managers.  Partner with federal, state, local, and private organizations on issues of mutual interest.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Forest Health

Clemson University

Threats to Forest Health

OA 10, 12

2.2

Forest Management

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8,9,10,11,12,13

3.4, 3.5, 3.7

State Forests

Forest Industry

Community Forestry

CWF 3,6,7,8,11

 

Community Forestry

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

USDA APHIS

 

 

 

 

Clemson DPI

 

 

 


Strategy 3.4.4:   Enhance staffing, technology and equipment to combat forest pest problems on a timely basis and as required by state law.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Forest Health

Clemson University

Threats to Forest Health

OA 10, 12

2.2

Forest Management

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8,9,10,11,12,13

3.4, 3.5, 3.7

State Forests

Forest Industry

Community Forestry

CWF 3,6,7,8,11

 

Community Forestry

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

TMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

USDA APHIS

 

 

 

 

Clemson DPI

 

 

 



Objective 3.5:   Promote the responsible use of prescribed fire.

Performance Measures:  Desired outcome is a positive five-year trend in each of the following metrics:   1) an increase in the number of acres burned using prescribed burning; 2) an increase in the number of certified prescribed fire managers; 3) an improved climate for prescribed burning as evidenced by fewer legal restrictions.

Resources Needed:  Improved smoke management models; the availability of affordable liability insurance; and personnel and equipment to conduct prescribed burns.

 


Strategy 3.5.1:  Continue to implement and educate the public regarding smoke management guidelines.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC DHEC

Wildfire Risk

OA 6,7

2.1, 2.2

Information Technology

USDA Forest Service

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

 

Department of Defense

Threats to Forest Health

CWF 9,10

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,10,11

 


Strategy 3.5.2:   Continue to monitor and research smoke management guidelines to maintain air quality standards.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC DHEC

Wildfire Risk

OA 6,7

2.1, 2.2

Information Technology

USDA Forest Service

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

 

Clemson University

 

CWF 9,10

 

 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

PF 1,2,3,4,5,10,11

 

 

Department of Defense

 

 

 


Strategy 3.5.3:   Maintain an active leadership role on the SC Prescribed Fire Council.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC Prescribed Fire Council

Wildfire Risk

OA 6,7

2.1, 2.2

 

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

 

SC DNR

Threats to Forest Health

CWF 9,10

 

 

TIMOs and REITs

 

PF 1,2,3,4,5,10,11

 

 

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

Clemson University

 

 

 


Strategy 3.5.4:   Examine regulations and liability issues concerning prescribed burning and seek solutions that will provide for public safety while promoting prescribed burning.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC Prescribed Fire Council

Wildfire Risk

OA 6,7

2.1, 2.2

Community Forestry

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

 

SC DNR

Threats to Forest Health

CWF 9,10

 

 

TIMOs and REITs

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,10,11

 

 

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

General Assembly

 

 

 


Strategy 3.5.5:   Develop a method for prioritization of prescribed burning in order to effectively utilize resources to accomplish prescribed burning goals.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC Prescribed Fire Council

Wildfire Risk

 

2.1

Forest Management

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

 

3.3, 3.5

Community Forestry

SC DNR

Community Forestry

 

 

Forest Stewardship 

TIMOs and REITs

 

 

 

 

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 


Strategy 3.5.6:  Restore fire adapted lands and/or reduce risk of wildfire impacts by encouraging the increased use of prescribed burning.

National Objectives Supported

SCFC Program Areas

Stakeholders

Priority Areas

Key Findings Supported

1.1, 1.2

Fire Management

SC Prescribed Fire Council

Wildfire Risk

OA 6,7

2.1, 2.2

Forest Management

Forest Landowners

Conserve Working Forests

EB 8

3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7

Community Forestry

SC DNR

Threats to Forest Health

CWF 9,10

 

Forest Stewardship 

TIMOs and REITs

Community Forestry

PF 1,2,3,4,5,10,11

 

 

State Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

Federal Land Mgt. Agencies

 

 

 

 

SC Forest Resource Assessment Page