Large Fires in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

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Funding Opportunity Number: P15AS01029
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Education
CFDA Number: 15.945
Eligible Applicants Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Agency Name: DOI-NPS
Closing Date: Jul 11, 2015
Award Ceiling: $20,000
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Creation Date: Jun 27, 2015
Funding Opportunity Description: This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service (NPS), intention to fund the following project activities without competition. ABSTRACT Funding Announcement P15AS01029 Project Title Large Fires in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve: Fire History, Dendroecology, and Climatic Controls Recipient University of Idaho Total Anticipated Award Amount 11000 Cost Share 0 Anticipated Length of Agreement 2 years Anticipated Period of Performance 2 years Award Instrument CESU Task Agreement Statutory Authority 54 USC §101702(b) CFDA # and Title 15.945, Cooperative Research and Training Programs – Resources of the National Park System Single Source Justification Criteria Cited Continuation Point of Contact Erica Cordeiro OVERVIEW The project entitled “Large fires in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve: fire history, dendroecology, and climatic controls” is a collaborative project between the National Park Service (NPS) and the University of Idaho (UI) to analyze tree rings (dendroecology) to assess age and growth patterns of trees related to climate and past fires. In places where wildfires are episodic and occasionally very large, understanding the factors that result in large fires is important for managing wildfires and planning for the future. In 2011, the NPS fire program conducted a fuels (vegetation) reduction project in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST) adjacent to the remote community of McCarthy, Alaska, to provide defensible space in the event of a wildfire. Evidence of an old fire, burned trees and logs, were common at the site. Tree cross-section samples were collected from a subset of live cut trees (133 samples) in 2011. For this project, tree ring analyses will be conducted on the tree cross sections that were cut in 2011, and on additional samples to be collected in 2016 from the WRST fuels reduction site. The analysis will compare tree ring growth patterns to climate datasets in the past to determine if there are significant relationships among tree growth rings, climate records, and large fire years in this area. Expected products include a final report, and interpretive samples of the tree ring cross-sections and a fact sheet about the project for use at the WRST visitor centers for public interpretation about fire and dendrochronology in WRST. Understanding the potential for large fires and factors influencing past fire events (weather/climate or vegetation) is important for preparing and planning for future large fire events. The main goals of the study are to use tree rings to map out tree establishment at the study site, and to compare past climate records and fire records to determine if climate or vegetation or both are likely to result in future large fires in this region. STATEMENT OF JOINT OBJECTIVES/PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN RECIPIENT INVOLVEMENT 1. Collaboratively undertake a project titled “Large fires in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve: fire history, dendroecology and climatic controls” as described in Attachment A and throughout this Task Agreement. 2. Appoint Philip Higuera, Assistant Professor, as Principal Investigator (PI). 3. Assign one or more undergraduate students to the project. 4. Collaborate with NPS staff to collect additional tree cross-sections from the field site in WRST. 5. Conduct field work in the project area to compare forest and ground conditions with results of previously cut tree cross-sections and newly cut cross-sections. 6. Instruct UI personnel that when working with any NPS personnel in a United States Government-owned or managed vehicle, UI personnel may not operate that vehicle and to establish and enforce compliance with those instructions. 7. Measure ring widths and count tree rings of tree cross-sections from prior sampling at project area (133 samples) and new tree cross-sections collected during field work (estimated 60 samples). 8. Produce age structure datasets to determine patterns of post-fire tree establishment at the project area. 9. Crossdate living and dead trees to develop a chronology with annual precision. 10. Analyze radial-growth patterns for growth releases or growth suppression to infer tree, site, and study-area scale disturbances from fire or other disturbances. 11. Collaborate with NPS to reconstruct disturbance events using fire history data sets and other historic data not included in interagency fire reports specific to WRST. 12. Reconstruct disturbance events to be compared to regional disturbance and climate histories. 13. Analyze growth patterns in sampled trees and compare relationships to past climate and fire activity, or other disturbances that may have resulted in stand age development. 14. Provide age data to NPS for inclusion in NPS database for site. 15. Collaborate with NPS to create an interpretive and educational fact sheet about this project. 16. Develop and submit a final report. 17. Cooperate with the NPS Agreement Technical Representative (ATR) to ensure that the conduct of the project complies with the “NPS Interim Guidance Document Governing Code of Conduct, Peer Review, and Information Quality Correction for National Park Service Cultural and Natural Resources Disciplines,” and with any and all subsequent guidance issued by the NPS Director to replace this interim document. 18. Ensure that reports and other formal materials (including publications and presentations) resulting from this collaborative project acknowledge the NPS and that the project was conducted through the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, and reference this Task Agreement number. 19. Upon request of the NPS, obtain digital photographs with captions of project activities and make these available to the NPS Pacific Northwest CESU Senior Science Advisor and others for use in presentations and reports. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE INVOLVEMENT 1. Provide financial assistance to the UI as provided in Article VI. The budget, included as Attachment B, is incorporated in this Task Agreement. 2. Assign Jennifer Barnes, Regional Fire Ecologist, as the ATR. The ATR will participate in project management decisions throughout the duration of the project. 3. Provide UI with tree-cross sections previously collected (133 samples), and vegetation data previously collected from the study site. 4. Provide information on past fire history in the park, prior to 1940 interagency fire record databases. 5. Provide local knowledge and expertise in working with UI to reconstruct disturbance events using fire history data sets and other historic data not included in interagency fire reports specific to WRST. 6. Provide overview and orientation associated with all park visits including: Briefings on safety procedures; introductions to park staff; and logistical support for field work operations, which include coordination with the park and making safety a priority. 7. At its discretion, allow UI staff participating in this project to ride in Government-owned or managed vehicles for the sole and limited purpose of transportation required for work authorized under this Task Agreement. Only NPS personnel may operate the vehicle. 8. Provide transportation for student to field site from Glennallen, AK or Fairbanks, AK to McCarthy. 9. Assist with safe undertaking of fieldwork within the park and have appropriate NPS staff accompany UI workers when needed in the field. 10. Work with UI to create an interpretive and educational fact sheet about this project. 11. Provide timely review comments on all submitted deliverables, including the final report. 12. Take the lead in creating an interpretive and educational fact sheet about this project. 13. Cooperate with the UI PI to ensure that the conduct of the project complies with the “NPS Interim Guidance Document Governing Code of Conduct, Peer Review, and Information Quality Correction for National Park Service Cultural and Natural Resources Disciplines,” and with any and all subsequent guidance issued by the NPS Director to replace this interim document. The ATR (or designee) is the administrative reviewer for this project. 14. Ensure that reports and other formal materials (including publications and presentations) resulting from this collaborative project acknowledge the UI and that the project was conducted through the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, and reference this Task Agreement number. SINGLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SINGLE SOURCE POLICY REQUIREMENTS Department of the Interior Policy (505 DM 2) requires a written justification which explains why competition is not practicable for each single-source award. The justification must address one or more of the following criteria as well as discussion of the program legislative history, unique capabilities of the proposed recipient, and cost-sharing contribution offered by the proposed recipient, as applicable. In order for an assistance award to be made without competition, the award must satisfy one or more of the following criteria: (1) Unsolicited Proposal – The proposed award is the result of an unsolicited assistance application which represents a unique or innovative idea, method, or approach which is not the subject of a current or planned contract or assistance award, but which is deemed advantageous to the program objectives; (2) Continuation – The activity to be funded is necessary to the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of an activity presently being funded, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity or completion of the activity; (3) Legislative intent – The language in the applicable authorizing legislation or legislative history clearly indicates Congress’ intent to restrict the award to a particular recipient of purpose; (4) Unique Qualifications – The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications; (5) Emergencies – Program/award where there is insufficient time available (due to a compelling and unusual urgency, or substantial danger to health or safety) for adequate competitive procedures to be followed. NPS did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria: Continuation

Source:: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277519