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The amount and size of fine woody debris found on the floor of a forest is an indicator of fire risk. Fine woody debris is measured along a line and recorded in size intervals. These are grouped into .5, 1, 3, 5 and 7 cm diameters categories. A gauge with these sizes cut into the edge of the material makes the task of measurement much quicker, more accurate and simpler. These are called Go-Nogo Gauges.

Step 1: Select Material

Select a material that is durable such as aluminum or puckboard. For this example I have used 1/8 inch Al plate.

Step 2: Measure

Measure out each of the of the opening categories carefully, and scribe the sizes on the material.

Step 3: Cut and File

Cut the openings with a bandsaw staying on the waste side of the scribed lines.

File to the scribed marks. Check opening sizes with a standard measure.

Step 4: Add a Hole

Make a hole in the gauge for a line that can be fastened and place a piece of flagging tape so that the gauge can be easily seen.

When I lived in the States(specially in Reno NV), I have observed in the surrounding forests lot of dry branches, fallen trees on the floors and wondered why they are not being cleared to prevent forest fires. I know forests are huge(unfortunately burned to the ground year by year) and it probably would take an army to accomplish such a task but if the US Forest Service agency were to allow locals or small companies to collect the wood off the floor for free then they would greatly diminish the risk of fires. Unfortunatelly I have seen many hectares burnt to ashes while I was still there and many more after I moved back. I just feel that their excuse of 'providing habitat for the wild life' by allowing these dry wood to remain on the forest floor is a short sighted one since All the wildlife is extingused when the fires do start. <br> <br>I would be interested though to see how you would use this tool to do the sorting.

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