Morphology Is Better Than Size for Revealing a Tree’s Age on Colorado’s Front Range

In Colorado’s Front Range, restoring fire-dependent ponderosa forests is a management priority often informed by understanding the historical structure and ecological function of these forests. Retention of old ponderosa pine trees within restored stands provides forests with a diversity of age structure, genetics, and resilience to low to moderate severity wildfires. Ponderosa pine trees reveal […]

Innovation in the Interior: How state-of-the-art remote sensing is helping to inventory Alaska’s last frontier

Throughout the summer of 2014, anyone watching the Piper-Cherokee, single-engine, piston-powered airplane fly repeated passes over interior Alaska’s Tanana Valley might have thought the airplane was like the other small planes that fly Alaska’s skies. This was not a typical Piper-Cherokee though; it carried a state-of-the-art multisensory airborne imaging remote-sensing system that can measure the […]

Is That Tree Dead? Quantifying Fire-Killed Trees to Inform Salvage and Forest Management

In fire-dependent forests of the western United States, tree species adapt in several ways to survive fire. In low-elevation forests that evolved with frequent, low-severity fire, many species have thick bark protecting the living tissues of cambium and phloem from wildfires’ destructive heat. Longer, thicker needles or those enclosed in thick scales protect growing buds. […]

Taking to the Skies: Bridgewater Logging Invests in a Drone

As operations manager of Bridgewater Logging, Matt Cron has run every piece of logging machinery there is. Yet operating the new machine the company acquired in November 2018 makes him nervous — even though it’s small enough to fit comfortably in the backseat of Matt’s pickup. Just as the processor was a game-changer for the industry, […]

The Spirit Lake dilemma: Engineering a solution for a lake with a problematic outlet

When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, its northern flank collapsed, triggering the largest landslide in recorded history. A good portion of this debris avalanche tore through Spirit Lake. Within moments, the lake was violently altered. The picturesque recreation site, home to youth camps and visitor lodges was gone. When the debris avalanche […]

The deadly amphibian bsal disease: How science-management partnerships are forestalling amphibian biodiversity losses

Avian influenza, rabies, mad cow disease, and even chronic wasting disease are animal diseases that make the headlines because of the human-health link and the ease in which they spread among animals, regions, and even countries. Lesser known are the nongame wildlife diseases. Although an alert for global amphibian declines began almost 30 years ago, […]

Counting carbon: Calculating how headwater streams contribute to the carbon cycle

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Findings December 2018 Pacific Northwest forests play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. Because they sequester atmospheric carbon, they are considered long-term carbon sinks when one is calculating the carbon budget for the region. Yet a forested landscape is more than trees; numerous headwater streams […]