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Geography: Northern Region (R1)

Where’s the Biomass? A New Approach for Quantifying Biomass and Carbon in the Western United States

Documents and Media Posted on: October 13, 2020
A brand-new Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) developed by RMRS researchers promises to be a valuable resource to support the U.S. Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Initiative’s goals and policy makers calculating carbon budgets. Document Type: Other Documents

Upcoming: Forest gaps and western white pine regeneration

Events Posted on: October 06, 2020
In this webinar, RMRS research forester Terrie Jain will join Jason Jerman (Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District), James Pass (Three Rivers Ranger District), and Shelagh Fox (R-1 Regional Silviculturist) to discuss forest openings and seedling growth in western white pine restoration.

Lick Creek: Lessons learned after 20+ years of fuel treatments in a ponderosa pine forest

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 08, 2020
Lick Creek is the longest running fuel treatment and restoration study of ponderosa pine forests in the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains. Through repeat photography and numerous published studies, we show how fuels and vegetation have changed over the 25 years since treatment and compare the effects of mechanical harvesting with and without prescribed burning.

Forest openings and seedling growth in western white pine restoration

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 02, 2020
Imagine you are a western white pine and western larch seedling growing in a forest opening. Your ability to grow into a mature tree depends on the visible sky above you in the opening and the light it provides. Seedlings of other species around you are also racing to grow upward and fill the same canopy space that you are striving to occupy. Your ability to maintain growth and outcompete the other seedlings is critical to your long-term survival.

Why was historical ponderosa pine forest structure spatially complex?

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 02, 2020
This research evaluated how spatial patterns of historical ponderosa pine forest structure impacted fire torching thresholds and contributes to a mechanistic understanding of how spatial patterns were maintained. With this information, we demonstrate how treatments that seek to restore these historical forest structures can increase stand-level resistance to crown fire. Restoration treatments in ponderosa pine forests that increase the stand-level proportion of isolated trees and small tree groups will have the greatest benefits for forest resistance to crown fire. Our results indicate that tree spatial patterns at very-fine scales contribute to self-regulation in fire-prone, forested ecosystems.

The scent of success: Beetle 'smells' can help protect the environment from weeds

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 31, 2020
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), an aggressively invasive Eurasian tree, is a dominant and widespread woody riparian species in the southwestern U.S. Biocontrol of saltcedar with the leaf beetle Diorhabda carinulata can be made more effective with semiochemicals (smells). 

Warmer temperatures directly and indirectly affect western larch regeneration

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 25, 2020
Forest inventory data reveal direct and indirect effects of climate on western larch regeneration. A direct effect of climate is the shift of western larch regeneration toward cooler, drier sites and less regeneration at warmer, wetter sites. An indirect effect is that warmer temperatures are linked to increased wildfire, and western larch seedlings were more prevalent at recently disturbed sites.

Energy development in the Great Plains

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2020
Major U.S. energy sources – fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), biofuels (ethanol), and wind – are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. This research synthesized potential ecological effects and mitigation opportunities during renewable and non-renewable energy development in the Great Plains.  

Drying rates of masticated fuelbeds

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 20, 2020
Wildfires that burn masticated fuels often cause severe ecological damage. Managers need to know how fast the fuelbeds dry so they can implement actions to mitigate potential adverse effects. 

Increasing use of prescribed fire: Barriers and opportunities

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 20, 2020
Prescribed fire is an important tool for increasing the resilience of fire-dependent ecosystems and for reducing overall wildfire risk, but it is not being applied at the necessary or desired levels. We investigated barriers and strategies for facilitating prescribed fire application on USFS and BLM lands across the western United States.