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Geography: Pacific Southwest Region (R5)

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. 

Using FIA data to predict forest understory vegetation structure

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 03, 2019
Understanding the structure of understory vegetation in forests is critical for estimating carbon stocks, fuel loading, and assessing wildlife habit. Using nationally collected inventory data shows promise in providing better estimates and assessments in these areas over large geographical regions.

Back from the brink: Framework to sustain resilience to species at risk

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 14, 2019
The Regeneration for Resilience (R4R) framework provides a decision structure to prioritize limited resources and utilize seedling planting and natural regeneration management to offer the best likelihood of success in positioning stands and landscapes to support resilience self-sustaining tree populations that are threatened by invasive pests. Effective management of forest regeneration dynamics can increase forest resilience and adaptive capacity to mitigate impacts of invasive species.

FIRE-BIRD: Habitat suitability model application tools for disturbance-associated woodpeckers

Tools Posted on: July 25, 2019
FIRE-BIRD is an ArcGIS spatial tool for applying habitat suitability models to generate maps that inform forest management planning. This tool focuses on disturbance-associated woodpecker species of conservation concern.

New research quantifies future wildfire impacts to communities in the Western United States

FS News Posted on: June 18, 2019
The Forest Service has developed a new cross-boundary assessment tool that maps 240 million acres where significant wildfire ignitions can potentially impact over 1,800 Western communities. This new framework is described in the report Cross-boundary Wildfire and Community Exposure Assessment (RMRS-General Technical Report-392), which was recently released by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and Oregon State University.

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.  

Climate change likely to reshape vegetation across North America's protected areas

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 23, 2019
National parks, wilderness areas, and nature reserves were created to preserve a sample of pristine ecosystems, but even the most remote protected areas face serious threats from climate change. Managers would benefit from a better understanding how ecosystems within protected areas may respond to global warming.  

Homes on the Range: Helping to Understand Residential Development of U.S. Rangelands

Documents and Media Posted on: May 23, 2019
May 2019 Science You Can Use (in 5 min)  Document Type: Other Documents

Homes on the range: Helping to understand residential development of U.S. rangelands

Pages Posted on: May 23, 2019
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Doughnuts don’t make trees fatter

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 06, 2019
Large, old trees, often called legacy trees, serve a foundational role in old-growth forests. Restoration efforts to improve vigor of legacy trees and decrease risk to high-intensity wildland fire and drought-mediated insect mortality often include reductions in stand density. However, sometimes regulatory and social constraints limit stand-level thinning options by requiring maintenance of closed canopies.

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