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.
Forest development research has been conducted for over 100 years. In 1960 research on the development of ponderosa pine forests was started both in northern Arizona and western South Dakota. Intensive bark beetle research commenced in 1980 in western South Dakota adding to work started in 1910. These lines of research followed individual trees and different stand structures. Similarly, northern goshawk and its prey’s habitat research started in 1990 adding knowledge on the importance of large ponderosa pine trees in the goshawk’s conservation. Combined, this research and resulting publications have transformed how ponderosa pine forests are viewed, valued, and managed throughout western North America.
Such conditions provide habitat for the northern goshawk and its prey as well as many other wildlife species.