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Geography: Rocky Mountain Region (R2)

Resilience Test: Can Ponderosa Pine Bounce Back After High-Severity Fire?

Documents and Media Posted on: October 28, 2021
In the absence of active management, portions of large high-severity patches may convert from ponderosa pine forests to grasslands, shrublands, or other forest types. However, other portions of large high-severity patches, particularly cooler and wetter areas near surviving trees, may recover to ponderosa pine forests or woodlands. Where ponderosa pine forests do recover, the trees may be largely distributed in heterogeneous “groupy-clumpy” spatial patterns, rather than in random or uniform patterns. Planting in high-severity patches may be most successful where climate tends to be cooler and wetter, such as at higher elevations, as natural regeneration was most successful in these areas. Planting near downed logs or other vegetation may enhance regeneration success, though it may also increase their risk of mortality in a reburn. To mimic patterns of natural regeneration in ponderosa pine forests, planting can be done in groups. Document Type: Other Documents

Partners committed to promoting National Fire Prevention Week

FS News Posted on: October 01, 2021
This news release about the upcoming National Fire Prevention Week was published in conjunction with partners listed below.  Please watch for information on social media from a consortium of partners working to help build understanding and awareness of the potential benefits of fire to the landscape and how to prevent damaging fires to homes and natural resources.

Nudging WUI residents toward socially desirable risk mitigation behaviors

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 02, 2021
Two recent innovative papers demonstrate how behavioral science experiments can provide evidence about the effectiveness of wildfire education outreach efforts.

Status of five-needle white pine populations in the western U.S.

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2021
Forest monitoring data collected throughout the western U.S. allowed us to assess the sustainability of five-needle pine populations, which face growing threats from stressors such as drought, disease, and insects. The good news is that some five-needle white pine species appear to be regenerating and growing faster than trees are dying. The bad news is that two species – whitebark and limber pines – are dying faster than growth of new and surviving trees.

Bark beetle outbreaks influence understory plants and invasive weeds

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2021
Bark beetle outbreaks alter forests in many ways, but the effects outbreaks have on understory vegetation are poorly understood despite the importance for overstory succession, nutrient cycling, water quality, soil erosion, and wildlife. Beetle outbreaks can also change forests in ways that could promote invasion by nonnative weeds, but this is rarely studied. Forest Service scientists assessed changes in understory vegetation and invasive weeds in lodgepole pine forests in the Northern Rockies following recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

Informational Flyer for RMRS-GTR-422

Documents and Media Posted on: August 18, 2021
Enter summary (recommended) or leave this area entirely blank (delete this content) Text in the summary field displays in listings and provides more information to people browsing the site. Text in the summary field does not appear in the body of the page. Document Type: Other Documents

Reconciliation of Comments for RMRS-GTR-422

Documents and Media Posted on: August 18, 2021
The Reconciliation of Comments for RMRS-GTR-422, A Scenario-Based Assessment to Inform Sustainable Ponderosa Pine Timber Harvest on the Black Hills National Forest (GTR-422), contains individual comments and author's responses to how the comments were used in finalizing GTR-422.  It does not provide any new findings, interpretations, or analyses.  Commenter's names are not listed.  However, this report may help commenters see how their commentDocument Type: Other Documents

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Understanding and Managing Pinyon and Juniper Woodlands in a Changing Climate

Documents and Media Posted on: August 04, 2021
RMRS scientists and their partners synthesized over 1,000 research and management papers on pinyon and juniper woodlands in order to help land managers, researchers, and the interested public understand and address concerns. The resulting publication is designed to help managers quickly reference the current state of knowledge of these semiarid woodland ecosystems, prioritize areas where conservation and restoration efforts will have the greatest benefits, and identify appropriate management actions. Document Type: Other Documents

Are soil changes responsible for persistent slash pile burn scars?

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 28, 2021
We analyzed soil nutrients and chemistry and conducted in situ and greenhouse seedling bioassays to determine whether soil changes explain tree colonization patterns in slash pile burn scars. We found that soil changes may contribute somewhat to sparse tree colonization in burn scars, but they do not appear to be a significant barrier.

Subalpine fir mortality and drought

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 28, 2021
Extensive mortality of subalpine fir has occurred over the past 25 years across western North America, but causes of this tree mortality are poorly understood. This research explores causes of this mortality and associated agents across multiple scales.