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Keyword: Montana

Response of a remnant marmot population to habitat enhancement yields insights into marmot ecology

Publications Posted on: January 04, 2021
We evaluated the response of a remnant population of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) to targeted habitat enhancement in an ecological system that had been degraded during ~100 years of intensive livestock management, including marmot eradication. We used capture-recapture data and a novel use of a multistate framework to evaluate geographic expansion of the marmot population pre- and post-habitat enhancement.

Soils and nutrient considerations

Publications Posted on: June 22, 2020
Fire suppression has resulted in a buildup of forest litter and an accumulation of organic nitrogen, and a decrease in available potassium. This has changed the historic structure of soils and their nutrient content. Studies at 15 sites in Montana have looked at a wide range of changes in soil productivity following prescribed fire.

To list or not to list: Invasive and noxious weed assessments

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 22, 2020
Noxious weed and invasive lists provide crucial guidance for prioritizing management of the many plants introduced to natural systems. However, the process for listing species can be subjective and is often not based on quantification of invader impacts. An RMRS researcher and colleagues quantified the effects of buckthorn (Ramnus cathartica) on native riparian plant communities in Montana using time-since-invasion and plant abundance data. The results suggest rapid assessments of plant communities that consider time since invasion could be used to more confidently evaluate invader impacts and better inform the listing process for noxious and other regulated species.

Precommercial thinning reduces snowshoe hare abundance in the short term

Publications Posted on: March 04, 2020
Management of young forests is not often considered in conservation plans, but young forests provide habitat for some species of conservation concern. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), critical prey of forest carnivores including the United States federally threatened Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), can be abundant in young montane and subalpine forests with densely spaced saplings and shrub cover.

To list or not to list: Using time since invasion to refine impact assessment for an exotic plant proposed as noxious

Publications Posted on: February 18, 2020
Methods that allow rapid and robust evaluation of plant invader impacts are needed to identify problematic species before they become too widespread to effectively manage. While observational data can be readily gathered to identify negative relationships between invading and native species, these patterns are not necessarily indicative of invader impact and may instead reflect the legacy of past conditions influencing invasibility.

Montana’s forest resources, 2006-2015

Publications Posted on: October 15, 2019
This report presents a summary of the most recent Forest Inventory and Analysis summary of Montana’s forests based on field data collected between 2006 and 2015. The report includes descriptive highlights and tables of area, numbers of trees, biomass, volume, growth, and mortality, as well as an industry report. Most sections and tables are organized by forest type or forest-type group, tree species group, diameter class, or owner group.

Rocky Mountain Research Station Forest Inventory & Analysis: Montana

Pages Posted on: July 19, 2019
Inventory and monitoring efforts conducted by Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists present a systematic compilation of forest statistics of the state.

A comparison of standard modeling techniques using digital aerial imagery with national elevation datasets and airborne LiDAR to predict size and density forest metrics in the Sapphire Mountains MT, USA

Publications Posted on: April 16, 2019
In recent years airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has received a great deal of attention. Using airborne LiDAR, analysts have successfully related height measurements to forest characteristics such as tree size, basal area, and number of trees.

Managing forests and forest carnivores: Canada lynx and forest mosaics

Science Spotlights Posted on: September 07, 2018
The management of Canada lynx habitat is an issue that has generated much debate and litigation across the Northern (Montana, Idaho) and Southern (Colorado, Wyoming) Rocky Mountains. This species depends almost exclusively on snowshoe hare for food during winter, and this prey species is sensitive to changes in forest composition and structure. Research conducted by scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, in collaboration with universities and local forest managers, is central in resolving management impasses by learning how changes in forest structure and composition can be implemented in ways that enhance the ability of Canada lynx to produce kittens.  

Forest resources of Montana

Publications Posted on: December 27, 2016
In 1928 Congress passed the McSweeney-McNary Forest Research Act authorizing a comprehensive survey of the timber supplies in the United States. Responsibility for this survey was assigned to the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. The work in Montana has been under the direction of the Northern Rockv Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. This is a report on the findings of the Montana survey.