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Forest ecosystem health in the inland westAuthor(s): R. Neil Sampson; Lance R. Clark; Lynnette Z. Morelan
Source: In: L. G. Eskew, comp. Forest health through silviculture: proceedings of the 1995 National Silviculture Workshop, Mescalero, New Mexico, May 8-11, 1995. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-267. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 53-62
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: View PDF (736 KB)
DescriptionFor the past four years, American Forests has focused much of its policy attention on forest health, highlighted by a forest health partnership in southern Idaho. The partnership has been hard at work trying to better understand the forests of the Inland West. Our goal has been to identify what is affecting these forests, why they are responding differently to climate stress than they did in the past, and what needs to be done to improve their health and resilience. Findings to date suggest that disruption of forest ecosystem processes and functions has significantly altered the natural role of fire in the region, particularly in the low-elevation, long-needled pine forest type. The result is millions of acres of unhealthy forest that do not meet the needs of society, and according to several scientists, may be on the verge of ecological collapse. The expansion of our early work has led to several features in regional and national media, and opportunities to share our findings and better inform interested members of Congress. A national survey on forest management commissioned late last fall gives us an indication that the public is generally supportive of management rather than letting nature take its course. However, public perceptions with respect to forest health and the role of fire suggest a need for more information and education on these issues. With the current volatile debate on salvage logging after the 1994 fires raging throughout the West, there is a considerable need to continue to raise awareness on forest health within the federal agencies, with the general public, and with policymakers.
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CitationSampson, R. Neil; Clark, Lance R.; Morelan, Lynnette Z. 1995. Forest ecosystem health in the inland west. In: L. G. Eskew, comp. Forest health through silviculture: proceedings of the 1995 National Silviculture Workshop, Mescalero, New Mexico, May 8-11, 1995. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-267. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 53-62
Keywordsforest health, forest ecology, ecosystems
- The role of fire in ecosystem management
- When the forest burns: making sense of fire history west of the Cascades.
- Smoke management guide for prescribed and wildland fire: 2001 edition.
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