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Geography: Kaibab National Forest

Mapping climate refugia to preserve cold-water biodiversity using crowd-sourced databases

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 20, 2016
Concerns about climate change effects on cold-water biodiversity sparked broad multi-agency collaborative efforts throughout the American West. U.S. Forest Service research teams led development of massive interagency databases that now enable precise mapping of critical habitats and species distributions in streams flowing through 101 National Forests.

Contemporary fire effects on birds dependant on historical fire regime

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 26, 2016
Researchers studied avian relationships with wildfire to evaluate forest fire and fuels management strategies. Specifically, they document regional differences associated with historical fire regime with implications for broadly implemented strategies aimed at reducing severe wildfire risk. The results suggest that avian-fire relationships differ regionally, and therefore the best management practices for conserving or restoring avian diversity likely differ with historical fire regime.

Northern goshawks on the Kaibab Plateau: A 20-year investigation into factors affecting their demography

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 26, 2016
The elusive northern goshawk, its forest habitats, and the habitats of its bird and mammal prey are significant conservation issues related to the management of forests throughout the hawk’s North American range.  The Rocky Mountain Research Station has been enumerating the population size and documenting the population ecology and demography of individual goshawks on Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau for 20 years with the objective of identifying the vegetation composition and structure of forests habitats that best supports their survival and reproduction.

Insects associated with fire-injured ponderosa pine

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2016
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are looking at tools aimed to respond to insect infestations after a fire occurs, particularly around large-scale conifer forests. Different types of fire injury and tree characteristics, such as the extent of bark damage, crown injury, and tree size were correlated to infestations by different bark beetles and wood-boring insects. Some of the insects occured jointly and were associated with both live and dead trees.

Assessing spatially heterogeneous forest structure impact on fire behavior in ponderosa pine and dry mixed conifer forests

Projects Posted on: August 17, 2016
Restoration projects are being implemented across large scales in fire-frequent forests to simultaneously modify forest structure complexity and reduce potential crown fire hazards. However, there has been little assessment of the ability for these projects to simultaneously meet the objectives of increasing spatial diversity and reducing wildfire hazards.

Birds and Burns Network

Projects Posted on: February 16, 2016
The Rocky Mountain Research Station is leading the effort to examine fire effects on populations and habitats of wildlife in dry mixed conifer forests in eight states across the western United States, including locations on National Forests, National Parks, and state and private lands. The goal of the Birds and Burns Network is to understand the ecological consequences of wildland fire, bark beetle disturbance, and forest management for wildlife in dry mixed conifer forests.

National forest contributions to streamflow: Southwestern Region (Region 3)

Pages Posted on: February 05, 2016
Maps and text files for each national forest in the Southwestern Region (Region 3) to illustrate the importance of national forest water yield to regional water quality and water quantity.

Fire and fire-surrogate study: Soil moisture availability

Projects Posted on: December 15, 2015
Forests in the western United States are more dense and have more down fuels now than under historic conditions, mostly due to anthropogenic influences such as grazing and fire-suppression. Managers have recognized this problem and have acted to reduce stem density and fuels by thinning, burning, and/or fuel treatments. This Fire and Fire-Surrogate (FFS) study evaluates prescribed fire, thinning, and various mechanical treatment methods for treating, removing, or using woody biomass.

Southwest Watershed Science Team

Groups Posted on: December 15, 2015

Habitat quality for the northern goshawk

Projects Posted on: October 14, 2015
The northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is an apex predator in most forests in the United States and Canada. Natural resource managers need information on how 3-dimensional forest structure impacts habitat quality for northern goshawk. Scientists with the Rocky Mountain Research Station are addressing this need by combining 21 years of demographic research with recently acquired high-resolution LiDAR data.