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Examples of fire restoration in Glacier National Park

Author(s): Laurie L. Kurth
Year Published: 1996

Covering just over 1 million acres, Glacier National Park straddles the Continental Divide in northwestern Montana. Diverse vegetation communities include moist western cedar- western hemlock (Thuja plicata - Tsuga heterophylla) old growth forests similar to those of the Pacific Coast, dry western grasslands and prairies, dense lodgepole pine forests (Pinus contorta var. latifolia), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) savannas, mixed conifer forests, and alpine and subalpine meadows. The diversity and complexity of the park's vegetation and wildlife necessitates innovative, long-term, and holistic management based on scientific knowledge. Fire history studies and records show that much of the park west of the Continental Divide has burned since the mid-1800's (Barrett and others 1991). Moreover, fire has been an essential process in defining vegetation communities and mosaics in the park for centuries and probably for millennia.

Citation: Kurth, Laurie. 1996. Examples of fire restoration in Glacier National Park. In: Hardy, Colin C.; Arno, Stephen F., eds. The use of fire in forest restoration. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-341. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. p. 54-55.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Vegetation, Fire History, Management Approaches, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): Subalpine wet spruce-fir forest, Subalpine dry spruce-fir forest, Montane wet mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 11252
FRAMES RCS number: 12595
Record updated: Mar 20, 2018