Robert E. Keane, Stephen F. Arno, Catherine A. Stewart
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fuel Treatments & Effects
Recovery after fire
Alpine forest/krummholz, Subalpine wet spruce-fir forest, Subalpine dry spruce-fir forest

NRFSN number: 11892
FRAMES RCS number: 13766
Record updated: October 3, 2019

Declining whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) forests have necessitated development of innovative methods to restore these ecologically valuable, high elevation ecosystems. We have begun an extensive restoration study using prescribed fire and silvicultural cuttings to return native ecological processes to degenerating whitebark pine forests. Preliminary results indicate these restoration treatments are successfully restoring the fire processes at a small scale, but many challenges need to be met to achieve landscape scale whitebark pine ecosystem restoration. Prescribed fires are difficult to implement because highly variable mountain weather rarely allows favorable burning conditions and the remote settings of many whitebark pine stands may preclude economically feasible silvicultural harvesting. However, we believe any fire or silvicultural treatment that reduces competing tree species densities and allows whitebark pine regeneration can potentially aid in the conservation of whitebark pine ecosystems.


Keane, Robert E.; Arno, Stephen F.; Stewart, Catherine A. 2000. Ecosystem-based management in the Whitebark Pine Zone. In: Smith, Helen Y., ed. The Bitterroot Ecosystem Management Research Project: what we have learned, symposium proceedings; 1999 May 18-20; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-17. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 36-40.

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