You are here

Geography: Utah

Using “good” fires to reduce “bad” fire effects and smoke impacts

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 29, 2019
The broad consensus among fire and fuel scientists and managers is that we need to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations on many more acres to mitigate the risk and severity of wildfires. But mechanical fuel treatments are expensive! Prescribed fire is a more cost effective tool to reduce fuel loads and to restore and maintain fuel conditions to something closer to the historical norm.

Where the desert meets the river: Investigating southwestern riparian ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 23, 2019
Rivers and streams of the American Southwest have been heavily altered by human activity, resulting in significant changes to disturbance regimes. Riparian vegetation in aridland floodplain systems is critically important as foraging, migrating, and breeding habitat to birds and other animal species. To conserve riparian ecosystems and organisms, understanding how plants and animals are affected by disturbance processes and multiple stressors is critical.

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. 

Beetle pheromones and maple volatiles reduce spruce beetle attacks on spruce trees

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 21, 2019
The spruce beetle is the most significant mortality agent of spruce in western North America, and management options are limited. In cooperation with FHP partners, a novel combination of a beetle-produced pheromone (MCH) and compounds from a non-host (maple) tree (AKB) were shown to be repellent to spruce beetles. High-release rate MCH-AKB devices that are attached to live spruce can reduce spruce beetle attacks on individual trees and small groups of trees.

Using drone imagery to census a rare desert plant

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 16, 2019
Census and monitoring are fundamental to rare plant conservation but can be expensive, labor-intensive, and damaging to fragile habitats. We developed a method using drone imagery to census populations of the endangered dwarf bear-poppy in its desert gypsum badland habitat and model its fine-scale habitat requirements. The drone can carry out a census in two days that would take two botanists a month to complete on the ground, with virtually no impact to fragile soils and biological crusts.

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.

Tree-ring-based reconstructions of historical fire regimes for quaking aspen, Great Basin bristlecone pine and mountain sagebrush communities

Projects Posted on: August 07, 2019
Tree-ring based fire histories from Utah and Nevada reveal multi-century fire patterns for quaking aspen, mountain sagebrush and Great Basin bristlecone pine communities.

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.

Test-driving a roadmap for quaking aspen restoration

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 24, 2019
Quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree species in North America. Healthy aspen forests are highly productive and support greater biodiversity than any other upland forest type in the Intermountain West. Overall, quaking aspen has been in decline throughout much of the Region and is in need of restorative intervention.

After Fire: Landscape toolkit for the Southwest

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 16, 2019
Wildfires, an important natural disturbance in southwestern ecosystems, can present challenges to resource managers, communities, and private landowners when they burn areas subject to post-fire flooding and erosion. Many government agencies and research institutions have developed science and management tools for estimating post-fire effects and mitigating risks in burned landscapes. We assessed the utility of currently available tools and resources for application on non-federal lands and by non-federal user groups.

Pages