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Geography: Arapaho National Forest

Beetle pheromones and maple volatiles reduce spruce beetle attacks on spruce trees

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
The spruce beetle is the most significant mortality agent of spruce in western North America, and management options are limited. In cooperation with FHP partners, a novel combination of a beetle-produced pheromone (MCH) and compounds from a non-host (maple) tree (AKB) were shown to be repellent to spruce beetles. High-release rate MCH-AKB devices that are attached to live spruce can reduce spruce beetle attacks on individual trees and small groups of trees.

Sensitive species not a species after all – how genetics solved the Arapahoe snowfly species mystery

FS News Posted on: February 22, 2019
The Arapahoe snowfly was something of an enigma. This small stonefly, an aquatic insect important to trout and familiar to trout anglers, was thought to be rare and found only in a small area of northern Colorado. This limited presence earned it a Candidate species status under the Endangered Species Act and protections as a Sensitive Species on Forest Service lands. Researchers recently found that the Arapahoe snowfly is actually not a distinct species, but rather a hybrid of two other stonefly species, which has ramifications for its conservation.

Facilitating pre-season planning to identify control opportunities and high priority areas

Projects Posted on: February 13, 2019
District and Forest Fire staff recently met with local cooperators and resource specialists to develop maps of potential control lines that they could use while managing a fire. Maps of control lines and potential operational delineations (PODs) are being developed for the entire Forest with the assistance of researchers from USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute.

Warming and Warnings: Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability in the Rocky Mountain Region

Documents and Media Posted on: July 26, 2018
This special Science You Can Use Bulletin is a companion to the recently published general technical report addressing climate change vulnerability in the Rocky Mountain Region. Document Type: Other Documents

Recreating in color: Promoting ethnic diversity on public lands

Documents and Media Posted on: May 30, 2018
Recent studies of the Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) data show a wide disparity in racial and ethnic use of national forests. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado, are studying NVUM numbers systematically and hope that their research will help National Forest System staff to encourage different racial and ethnic groups to connect with public natural lands. Document Type: Other Documents

Fire patterns in piñon and juniper in the Western United States: Trends from 1984 through 2013

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 15, 2018
Changes in fire patterns for piñon and juniper vegetation in the western United States were analyzed over a 30-year period. This is the first evaluation of its type.

Seeing red: New tools for mapping and understanding fire severity

Pages Posted on: May 14, 2018
Large, severe fires are ecologically and socially important because they have lasting effects on vegetation and soils, can potentially threaten people and property, and can be costly to manage. The goals of the Fire Severity Mapping Project(FIRESEV), which covers lands in the continental western United States, are to understand where and why fires burn severely, and to give fire managers, fire ecologists, and natural resource managers tools to assess severity before, during, and after a wildfire. FIRESEV has produced a suite of tools for a wide range of fire management applications, including real-time forecasts and assessments in wildfire situations, post-wildfire rehabilitation efforts, and long-term planning.

Slash from the past: Rehabilitating pile burn scars

Pages Posted on: April 05, 2018
In the National Forests of northern Colorado, there is a backlog of over 140,000 slash piles slated to be burned, most of them coming from post-mountain pine beetle salvage logging and hazard reduction treatments. Burning slash piles can create openings in the forest that remain treeless for over 50 years, and can also have the short-term impacts of increasing nutrient availability and creating opportunities for weed establishment. Working with managers, RMRS researchers have evaluated the available treatments for short-term rehabilitation of both smaller, hand-built and larger, machine-built burn piles. For the smaller piles, they found that both soil nitrogen and plant cover recovered to a level similar to that of the surrounding forest within two years, indicating that these scars may not need rehabilitation unless in a sensitive area. Seeding with native mountain brome (Bromus marginatus) was an effective option for the larger piles, whereas mechanical treatment either alone or with seeding did not increase plant cover.

Streamwater nitrogen and forest dynamics following a mountain pine beetle epidemic: Insights from three decades of research at Fraser Experimental Forest, CO

Pages Posted on: March 01, 2018
A recently published study by a team of Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) scientists describes a 10-year investigation of streamwater nitrogen (N) and forest dynamics following a mountain pine beetle epidemic. Unlike the abrupt nutrient changes typical after a wildfire or timber harvesting, the outcomes of insect outbreaks are poorly understood. RMRS scientists capitalized on long-term, pre-outbreak monitoring at the Fraser Experimental Forest near Winter Park Colorado where the U.S. Forest Service has studied the forest and hydrologic processes responsible for regulating streamflow from high elevation watersheds since 1937. Contrary to expectations, watersheds with extensive MPB-caused forest mortality ‘leak’ very little stream N.

Building resilience in Colorado Front Range forests for the future

Pages Posted on: February 22, 2018
The recently published "Principles and Practices for the Restoration of Ponderosa Pine and Dry Mixed-Conifer Forests of the Colorado Front Range" (RMRS-GTR-373) provides a synthesis of information specific to Colorado’s Front Range, while outlining a framework to guide forest management and treatment design criteria that can be used by land managers far and wide. This Science You Can Use (in 5 minutes) highlights the main themes of this approach to place-based restoration.

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