Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Isolated wilderness ecosystems with a history of frequent, low-severity fires have been altered due to many decades of fire exclusion and, as a result, are difficult to restore for philosophical and logistical reasons. In this paper, we describe the successional conditions of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) communities along the South Fork of the Flathead River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness following decades of fire suppression, and then summarize the first-year effects of the 2003 fires on these communities. We found that at least 34 percent of the large ponderosa pine trees were dead or dying as a result of the fires, with much of this mortality due to cambial girdling following the burning of duff and litter buildup around the base of the trees. We explore possible strategies for, and barriers to, the restoration of deteriorating ecosystems in wilderness and other similarly managed natural areas that historically depended on frequent, low-intensity fires. We also discuss the complexity of managing fire-dependent ecosystems in wilderness.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Reinhardt, Elizabeth; Scott, Joe; Gray, Kathy; Keane, Robert. 2006. Estimating canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands in the western United States using tree and stand measurements. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36: 2803-2814.


    canopy fuel, conifer stands, wilderness ecosystems, fire, Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page