Recovery after fire
Many foresters and ecologists recognize that disruption of the historic pattern of frequent fires in ponderosa pine forests has resulted in major ecological changes, including increasingly severe wildfires and insect and disease epidemics (Weaver, 1943; Covington and Moore, 1992; Mutch and others, 1993; Everett, 1994). In response to this tealization, there is increasing interest among natural resource managers, biologists, and the public in restoring ponderosa pine forests to more natural and sustainable conditions (American Forests, 1995). The Intermountain Research Station and the University of Montana's School of Forestry, in cooperation with the Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests have been testing the effectiveness of different silvicultural and prescribed fire treatments for restoring ponderosa pine forests, and we will report some observations and initial findings here. But first we will summarize ecological changes that have occurred and describe our restoration treatments.