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Geography: Nez Perce National Forest

Complementing insect aerial surveys with satellite imagery

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 06, 2019
Forest insects kill large numbers of trees in the western United States each year. The US Forest Service monitors and quantifies tree mortality from insect outbreaks using annual aerial detection surveys. The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is demonstrating how satellite imagery can be used to produce annual maps of tree mortality, as the Forest Service anticipates relying more on satellite imagery, a cheaper alternative to aerial detection surveys, to monitor forest health in the future.

Watershed Analysis using WEPP Technology for The Clear Creek Restoration Project

Documents and Media Posted on: September 06, 2019
The US Forest Service Clear Creek Restoration Project’s goal is to restore desired silvicultural distributions/diversity within even aged stands. Researchers are using FlamMap, the WEPP model (GeoWEPP) and GIS tools to determine sediment delivery for a variety of biomass removal scenarios. Analysis included user defined GIS and ArcToolbox tools. The findings show that the area left untreated will ultimately deliver much more sediment than the treated area due to increased risk of wildfire if left untreated. Document Type: Other Documents

Results of Erosion Analysis of the Clear Creek Road Network

Documents and Media Posted on: September 06, 2019
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is planning a major restoration project to improve forest health and decrease the risk of wildfire in the Clear Creek Watershed. Elliot and Miller (2017) provided a detailed analysis estimating likely erosion from the proposed treatment areas, but at that time, did not have the tools to satisfactorily estimate sediment from the road network. Earlier estimates of likely road sediment generation were made with the NezSed cumulative effects model, which was not able to consider erosion from individual road segments. When Dr. Cao joined the research team, we were able to develop the methodology described below to complete a road network erosion analysis. This report is an example of applying this new methodology and evaluating its utility to support watershed analysis. Document Type: Other Documents

Rare carnivore detections from environmental DNA in snow

Media Gallery Posted on: September 05, 2019
A new project showed that animal footprints in snow contain enough DNA for species identification, even when the snow was many months old. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks as well as areas where the animal had been photographed months earlier. Newly developed genetic assays were applied and positively detected the DNA of each species, performing nearly flawlessly on samples previously considered too poor to provide usable DNA. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections.

Rare carnivore detections from environmental DNA in snow

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 05, 2019
A new project showed that animal footprints in snow contain enough DNA for species identification, even when the snow was many months old. The study extracted DNA from snow samples collected within animal tracks as well as areas where the animal had been photographed months earlier. Newly developed genetic assays were applied and positively detected the DNA of each species, performing nearly flawlessly on samples previously considered too poor to provide usable DNA. This method could revolutionize winter surveys of rare species by greatly reducing or eliminating misidentifications and missed detections.

Region 1 National Forests

Pages Posted on: February 26, 2019
The Region 1 (Northern Region) website can be found here. Documents detailing forest habitat types of Montana and Idaho can be found here.

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

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.

National forest climate change maps: your guide to the future

Projects Posted on: April 17, 2017
The National Forest Climate Change Maps project was developed to meet the need of National Forest managers for information on projected climate changes at a scale relevant to decision making processes, including Forest Plans.  The maps use state-of-the-art science and are available for every National Forest in the contiguous United States with relevant data coverage. Currently, the map sets include variables related to precipitation, air temperature, snow (including April 1 snow-water equivalent (SWE) and snow residence time), and stream flow.

Stream water quality after a fire

Projects Posted on: April 07, 2017
Wildland fires in the arid west create a cause for concern for many inhabitants and an area of interest for researchers. Wildfires dramatically change watersheds, yielding floods and debris flows that endanger water supplies, human lives, and valuable fish habitats.

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