Research Past and Current

Early research at the FEF was oriented toward timber, water, and sediment production resulting from forest management. Additionally, much research focused on forest species and structure effects on snow distribution, water use and water yield.  Historic studies have included wildlife, recreation, silviculture, geology and soils, and many other topics relevant to the time. Current research addresses questions about links between forests and forest management, riparian areas and streams, and aims to better understand mechanisms important in water and nutrient cycling, and ecosystem carbon storage. Dozens of individual studies are currently in progress, in addition to continued long-term monitoring of climate, streamflow, and water chemistry.  With the recent epidemic of mountain pine beetle across the West, we are focusing efforts to understand the impact of widespread forest mortality on water supply, water quality, nutrient cycling, forest regeneration and regrowth.  We are also studying the effect of different management response practices on the beetle-altered hydrologic, hydrochemical and biologic systems.