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Restoration fuels treatments in old-growth- Visiting research plots in western larch and ponderosa pine forests

Author(s): Corey L. Gucker
Year Published: 2014
Description:

Mick Harrington and Steve Arno, retired research foresters with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, took participants of the May 2014 Large Wildland Fires Conference through a 300-year-old stand of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and western larch (Larix occidentalis). While there, they discussed their research, which compared various combinations of thinning and burning through a dense Douglas-fir (Pseudostuga menziesii) understory to restore old-growth forest structure. Their research included a detailed assessment of fuels and the potential to reduce fire severity. Most of the old growth trees at the study site near the Snow Bowl ski area north of Missoula, Montana, were established sometime between 1660 and 1700. Historically, these forests experienced frequent surface fires with a mean fire-return interval averaging 27 years (range 15-42 years). Since 1919, however, there have been no fires in this unharvested site. 

 

Citation: Gucker, Corey L. 2014. Restoration fuels treatments in old-growth- Visiting research plots in western larch and ponderosa pine forests. Northern Rockies Fire Science Network Field Trip Summary No. 4: Large Wildland Fires Conference. 2014 May 19-23. Missoula, MT.
Topic(s): Fire History, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Management Approaches, Recovery after fire, Fuels
Ecosystem(s): Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 12674
Record updated: May 24, 2018