Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project wraps up its research

Group prepares final reports to inform future adaptive forest management efforts

SNAMP study south site

Last week, Calforests had the chance to catch up with Anne Lombardo and talk about the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (SNAMP). SNAMP is an independent group of researchers that act as a non-bias, third party source of information on the effects of vegetation management treatments in the Sierra Nevada. SNAMP has researchers from UC Berkeley, UC Merced, University of California Cooperative Extension, and the University of Minnesota. SNAMP works with the U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Water Resources, the California Resources Agency, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others; with the aim of using their findings to improve forest management on federal land in the future.


Anne Lombardo is a member of SNAMP’s Public Participation Team and serves as a liaison for the project in the community. She recently attended a speaker series at the Upper Merced River Watershed Council in Midpines, California. The series’ goal is to get experts, like Anne, to teach the community about issues that are important to the local watershed.


Anne was well received, with more than 25 local residents who were eager to listen and learn, she was able to teach friends of the Upper Merced River Watershed Council about SNAMP research topics designed to inform adaptive forest management and how they are looking at best land practices to help fire prevention, forest health, water availability, and wildlife.


Midpines is an area known to Anne as “Fisher territory,” where California’s Pacific fisher resides in the forest and only comes out at night. The nocturnal tree-dweller is a large part of SNAMP’s research in the Sierra Nevada. “I talked a lot about the Pacific fisher in Midpines, because this is fisher country,” said Lombardo. “Our research on the fisher has provided a great deal of information on the biology of this species in this area that was poorly understood before this project. We are proud to be able to give that knowledge to the local residents who share a community with the fisher.” Fishers have been the focus of recent conservation concerns in California because of their dwindling numbers that began as the result of years of trapping in the early 1900’s and SNAMP is taking a quantitative look at the local wildlife.


Anne is interested to see how SNAMP’s work will integrate into forest management policies and procedures, but she also emphasizes that the organization is completely neutral and does not support nor oppose any legislation. SNAMP showcases their neutrality with 100% transparency; all of their meetings are open to the public, and all their reports are available online. They do not use data from the Forest Service or the Fish and Wildlife Service for their research, because they want to ensure that the science is neutral, meaning all of the collecting, monitoring and analyzing comes from SNAMP researchers.


SNAMP, a seven-year project, is in their last year of research. Their final findings and analyses are extremely important to the future of forest health in California as they will shape managers’ decisions. “That’s the million dollar question,” Lombardo said. “Will the Forest Service or the Fish and Wildlife Service actually use our findings to influence their behavior – we certainly hope so.” November will see the release of SNAMPs final briefings and full reports on the effects of forest treatments on forest health, wildfire prevention, wildlife, and water quality and supply. To learn more about SNAMP and their work click here.