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Forest reference conditions for ecosystem management in the Sacramento Mountains, New MexicoAuthor(s): M. R. Kaufmann; L. S. Huckaby; C. M. Regan; J. Popp
Source: General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-19. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 87 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionWe present the history of land use and historic vegetation conditions on the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest within the framework of an ecosystem needs assessment. We reconstruct forest vegetation conditions and ecosystem processes for the period immediately before Anglo-American settlement using General Land Office survey records, historic studies and accounts, and reconstructive studies such as dendrochronological histories of fire and insect outbreak and studies of old growth. Intensive grazing, clearcut logging, fire suppression, and agriculture in riparian areas have radically altered forest structure and processes since the 1880s, when intensive settlement began in the Sacramento Mountains. Present forests are younger and more dense than historic ones, and in areas that were previously dominated by ponderosa pine, dominance has shifted to Douglas-fir and white fir in the absence of frequent surface fire. Landscapes are more homogeneous and contiguous than historic ones, facilitating large-scale, intense disturbances such as insect outbreaks and crown fires.
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CitationKaufmann, M. R.; Huckaby, L. S.; Regan, C. M.; Popp, J. 1998. Forest reference conditions for ecosystem management in the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-19. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 87 p.
KeywordsSacramento Mountains, New Mexico, environmental history, ecosystem management, fire, logging, grazing
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