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Geography: Oregon

Snag hazard to firefighters persists long after the smoke has cleared

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 24, 2019
A new tool developed through collaboration between RMRS and researchers at Oregon State University tracks treefall through time and may just save lives. Researchers found that snag hazard to fire responders decreased significantly 10-years post fire, but that in some areas, unsafe conditions could last as long as 35 years. Maps of snag hazard risk can be used by decision makers and fire responders to reduce exposure and improve the safety of wildfire response.

FIRE-BIRD: A GIS tool for applying habitat suitability models to inform land management planning

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 04, 2019
To conserve and promote biological diversity, land managers must identify suitable habitat for species of conservation concern. Managers can then restrict potentially detrimental activities (e.g., salvage logging) to areas of lower habitat suitability, and target beneficial activities (e.g., restoration) where habitat suitability is higher. We developed FIRE-BIRD, an ArcGIS tool, to map habitat suitability for disturbance-associated woodpeckers of conservation concern to inform postfire management and restoration treatments in dry mixed-conifer forests. 

Big trees, bark beetles, goshawks, and timber

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
Throughout the Rocky Mountains over the last century, large ponderosa pine trees provided lumber for growing cities and towns, along with fuel and timber for the mining and railroad industries. Most of these forests are now occupied by dense young and mid-aged forests highly susceptible to being killed by bark beetles and burned by wildfires. These conditions have been exacerbated by fire suppression and urban encroachment. As a result, knowledge is needed to inform management actions directed at restoring and conserving ponderosa pine forests. 

Milking milkweeds for more monarch butterfly habitat

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 19, 2019
Iconic monarch butterflies are disappearing from the landscape. They require milkweed plants to complete their life cycle. Milkweed seeds are often produced for restoration in nurseries in special beds. Our work shows that once these beds have served their purpose, milkweed taproots can be harvested, stored, and used for restoration, thus increasing the benefit of these beds.

Forb common garden study to inform seed transfer guidance for restoration

Projects Posted on: July 31, 2019
Seed-grown plants from multiple populations of three focal forb species will planted in gardens across the Great Basin in order to capture important information that affects where seeds are sourced for restoring native plants at specific locations.

America's Grasslands - audiovisual presentation

Documents and Media Posted on: June 14, 2019
The National Grassland Council has prepared an audiovisual presentation about the history and value of our National Grasslands. GSD Research Ecologist Jackie Ott, Rapid City and member of the National Grassland Council, helped to prepare the presentation which she narrates. The presentation takes 10 minutes and is a fascinating account of the homesteading period, 1930’s Dust Bowl, formation of the national grasslands, and their current multiple uses and contributions to the national economy. Document Type: Presentations

Wildfires know no boundaries

Science Spotlights Posted on: June 14, 2019
The USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station recently released a new General Technical Report, GTR-392, Cross-boundary Wildfire and Community Exposure: A Framework and Application in the Western US. The publication describes the development and application of a framework to assess cross-boundary wildfire exposure for the Western U.S. with the purpose of mapping potential fire transmission among public and private lands, and identifying areas where ignitions are most likely to expose communities to wildfire.  

Predicting the effects of climate change on cattle production in western U.S. rangelands

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 13, 2018
Forage availability for grazing animals has always been vulnerable to the effects of variations of weather and climate from year–to–year, with some years and decades markedly drier than others.

The big picture on whitebark pine

FS News Posted on: August 31, 2018
Throughout the western United States, whitebark pine is experiencing high mortality, leading to concern about long-term viability of whitebark pine and other species that depend on it. Two new studies of whitebark pine in the western U.S. show that this species continues to die-off in alarming numbers and identifies locations where forest managers may be able to encourage growth of young whitebark pines.

Landscape-scale assessments of whitebark pine

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2018
Forest inventory data show that more than half of all standing whitebark pine trees in the U.S. are dead. Regeneration of whitebark pine is widespread, especially in lodgepole pine stands, which suggests that active management of whitebark pine should target mixed-species stands to take advantage of natural regeneration. 

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