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Geography: Pacific Southwest Region (R5)

New Research Provides Insights About One of the West’s Most Rapidly Declining Birds

FS News Posted on: February 19, 2021
FORT COLLINS, Colo., Feb 19, 2021–New research recently published in the journal PLOS ONE offers clues about why one of the West’s most unique and iconic songbirds has lost over 80 percent of its population during the last half-century. “Pinyon Jay declines are a real biological mystery, especially since scientists know that the pinyon-juniper woodlands where this bird lives have been expanding for many decades,” said co-author Elisabeth Ammon of the Great Basin Bird Observatory.  “There’s never been an obvious explanation for why their numbers are dropping so fast.”

A través del humo: Búhos moteados, incendios forestales, y restauración forestal

Documents and Media Posted on: February 09, 2021
 En el suroeste, los científicos y los administradores están trabajando juntos para encontrar formas de reducir el riesgo de futuros mega fuegos y al mismo tiempo mantener el hábitat crítico de anidación. Document Type: Other Documents

Where have all the Pinyon Jays gone?

Science Spotlights Posted on: January 27, 2021
We found Pinyon Jays prefer distinct forest conditions within woodlands for specific activities. These conditions are often present in places targeted for active woodland management. This research provides land managers knowledge they can incorporate into woodland prescriptions that meet management objectives for the treatment area while also benefiting the Pinyon Jay.

Area burned at high severity is increasing in western U.S. forests

Science Spotlights Posted on: January 19, 2021
Increases in burned area across the western United States since the mid-1980s have been widely documented and linked partially to climate factors, yet evaluations of trends in fire severity are lacking. We documented an overall eight-fold increase in annual area burned at high severity across all western U.S. forests from 1985-2017 coincident with a warming climate.

National forest climate change maps: your guide to the future

Projects Posted on: December 09, 2020
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.

Dirt goes downhill: Are we making better post-wildfire erosion control treatment decisions?

Events Posted on: December 07, 2020
In this webinar, Pete Robichaud discussed soil erosion prediction tools to allow for better post-fire land management decision-making.

Through the Smoke: Spotted Owls, Wildfire, and Forest Restoration

Documents and Media Posted on: December 05, 2020
In the Southwest, scientists and managers are working together to find ways to reduce the risk of future megafires while also maintaining critical nesting habitat for Mexican spotted owls.  Document Type: Other Documents

Co-Managing Wildfire Risk Across Boundaries (CoMFRT)

Events Posted on: December 03, 2020
In this webinar, Dan William and Mo Essen discussed the Co-Management of Wildfire Risk Transmission Partnership (CoMFRT) partnership.  

Area burned by severe fire has increased 8-fold in western U.S. forests over past four decades

FS News Posted on: November 30, 2020
***This press release was originally issued by AGU WASHINGTON—The number of wildfires and the amount of land they consume in the western U.S. has substantially increased since the 1980s, a trend often attributed to ongoing climate change. Now, new research finds fires are not only becoming more common in the western U.S. but the area burned at high severity is also increasing, a trend that may lead to long-term forest loss.

Warning signals of tree mortality masked by extreme drought and bark beetles

Science Spotlights Posted on: November 09, 2020
Determining why some trees die while others survive both drought and insect outbreaks is valuable for forecasting tree mortality events, which are expected to become more frequent with further climate change. We collected stand and tree-level data on the Sierra and Los Padres National Forests in Central and Southern California, where tree mortality from the combination of drought and bark beetles was widespread.