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Restoring fire to mixed conifer forests in the Northern Cascades

Posted date: September 04, 2007
Publication Year: 
1996
Authors: Leuschen, T. J.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: Hardy, Colin C.; Arno, Stephen F., eds. The use of fire in forest restoration. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-341. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. p. 77.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Many of the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) mixed conifer stands in the Methow Valley of north-central Washington have developed understories of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga rnenziesii) as a result of fire exclusion. Most of the forest floor has not yet become cluttered with dead woody fuel. Instead, the live biomass has increased and created more ladder fuels (branches near enough to the ground to carry a surface into the crowns). Consequently, crown fires can be initiated by fires of lower intensity. There is an increase in dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobiurn spp.), root rot, and other associated pathogens. Our challenge as land managers on the Okanogan National Forest is to reduce the tree biomass and stems per acre and adjust species composition to more historic levels while restoring fire to these stands.

Citation

Leuschen, T. J. 1996. Restoring fire to mixed conifer forests in the Northern Cascades. In: Hardy, Colin C.; Arno, Stephen F., eds. The use of fire in forest restoration. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-341. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. p. 77.