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US Forest Service Research & Development
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Research Highlights

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Highlight IDTitleResearch Topic(s)YearStation

ID: 402
A close comparison of the condition of watersheds on our National Forests

Given the continuing concern over nonpoint-source pollution, researchers sought to understand how the risk of water quality impairment from nonp ...

Principal Investigator : Thomas Brown

Water, Air, and Soil2011RMRS

ID: 248
A new approach to large-scale fish monitoring

The old paradigm of 'how much is out there' is being replaced by a new method prototyped by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, which is easier ...

Principal Investigator : William Block

Wildlife and Fish2010RMRS

ID: 396
A practical approach to using fire simulations for operational planning and ecological research

Station scientists have developed a simulation system designed to estimate the probabilistic components of wildfire risk for Fire Planning Units ...

Principal Investigator : Mark Finney

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 121
A Proactive Strategy To Control Invasive Species in Mountaintop Ecosystems

High-elevation pine forests, under the threat of multiple stressors, serve as an excellent flagship to lead the shift away from crisis managemen ...

Principal Investigator : Anna Schoettle

Invasive Species
Resource Management and Use
2012RMRS

ID: 253
A Synthesis of the Science on U.S. Forests and Carbon

Due to the recognized expertise and the credibility of our scientists, the Rocky Mountain Research Station was asked by the Ecological Society o ...

Principal Investigator : Tom Crow

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 252
Adapting to Climate Change in National Forests: A Workshop for Resource Managers

In April of 2010, scientists from the Rocky Mountain, Pacific Northwest, and Pacific Southwest Research Stations organized and conducted a works ...

Principal Investigator : Cindy S. Swanson

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 272
Aiding Visitation Management in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

The unique wilderness of Boundary Waters Canoe Area draws over 250,000 visitors annually, making it one of the most popular wilderness areas in ...

Principal Investigator : Cindy S. Swanson

Outdoor Recreation2010RMRS

ID: 403
An herbicide solution to knapweed

Station researchers evaluated the effects of a common herbicide treatment on grassland plants in western Montana to determine if and when suppre ...

Principal Investigator : Yvette Ortega

Invasive Species2011RMRS

ID: 251
Analysis of Douglas-Fir Climate Change Adaptation Potential

A collaborative effort led by the Rocky Mountain Research Station, has produced a report outlining the impact of changing climate on forest dist ...

Principal Investigator : Tom Crow

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 397
Applying and delivering National Fire Plan research

Finding innovative ways to help natural resource managers learn and apply new technology.

Principal Investigator : Todd Mowrer

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 277
Aspen forest trends in the Interior West

Aspen death in parts of the Interior West, including Colorado and Utah, has been alarming in recent years. While loss of aspen in localized area ...

Principal Investigator : Michael Wilson

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 383
Assessing wildfire risk to communities and natural and cultural resources

Station scientists affiliated with the National Fire Decision Support Center are working closely with the Agency's Western and Eastern Threat Ce ...

Principal Investigator : Dave Calkin

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 393
Biological control of invasive plants

Scientists are studying chemical ecology regarding the biocontrol of weeds and discovering that biocontrol insects affect weed chemistry in very ...

Principal Investigator : Justin Runyon

Invasive Species2011RMRS

ID: 386
Black Fingers of Death - the Bane of Cheatgrass

Scientists have identified a promising biocontrol organism that can kill dormant cheatgrass seeds and sometimes a high proportion of germinable ...

Principal Investigator : Susan Meyer

Invasive Species2011RMRS

ID: 258
Broadening information available to managers of wildland fires

Researchers in Boise, Idaho, worked with colleagues on both sides of the country to develop a tool that gives wildland fire managers detailed ai ...

Principal Investigator : Jan Engert

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010RMRS

ID: 384
Can fuel treatments mitigate wildfire effects

Did a real-time test of fuel treatments help mitigate the effects of a large wildfire

Principal Investigator : Andrew Hudak

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 273
Catalyzing Human Behavior in Support of Monitoring Recreation Impacts on Wildlife

Surprising successes have been achieved in the first year of a pilot project examining how humans, lynx and wolverine use winter recreation area ...

Principal Investigator : William Block

Outdoor Recreation2010RMRS

ID: 236
Climate Change Effects on Stream Temperature

A new temperature model developed via collaboration between researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Aquatic Sciences Laboratory in ...

Principal Investigator : Frank McCormick

Water, Air, and Soil2010RMRS

ID: 387
Combating wildlife habitat loss to human development

Scientists are investigating ways to lessen the impact of humans on wildlife and their travel corridors.

Principal Investigator : Samuel Cushman

Wildlife and Fish2011RMRS

ID: 255
Designing fuel treatments for the wildland-urban interface

Findings from research in an area of vacation homes near Idaho's Warm Lake are helping resource managers design fuel treatments for the wildland ...

Principal Investigator : Tom Crow

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010RMRS

ID: 274
Determining the cost of biomass removal

The Western Biomass Tool estimates the costs of harvesting, chipping and transporting biomass. The Western Biomass Tool can also be used to calc ...

Principal Investigator : Frank McCormick

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 381
Evaluating the Effects of Climate Change on Streamflow

Scientists have developed a database of flow metrics for streams in the western U.S. under historical conditions and climate change scenarios.

Principal Investigator : Charlie Luce

Water, Air, and Soil2011RMRS

ID: 257
Evolution of accident investigations

Change blindness,' in which people do not notice changes in a situation, is among the human phenomena uncovered after an on-the-job accident kil ...

Principal Investigator : Jan Engert

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010RMRS

ID: 250
Examining the eastern edge of greater sage-grouse habitat

Efforts to aid greater sage-grouse survival, a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection, will be enhanced by a project coordinated at the ...

Principal Investigator : Steve Warren

Wildlife and Fish2010RMRS

ID: 390
Fire and fish dynamics in a changing climate

Forest Service scientists are seeking a better understanding how climate change and fire affect native trout.

Principal Investigator : Michael Young

Wildlife and Fish2011RMRS

ID: 388
Good decisions for good fire management

The Station's Wildland Fire Management Research, Development and Application program is developing the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WF ...

Principal Investigator : Tom Zimmerman

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 394
Group Addresses Climate Change Impacts

New Forest Service group addresses the impacts of changing climates across the diverse landscapes of the Intermountain West and Great Plains.

Principal Investigator : Jan Engert

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 269
How removal of invasive trees affects nesting birds in riparian areas

Researchers studied nesting success in areas dominated by native tree species such as willows, areas dominated by invasive species such as tamar ...

Principal Investigator : Deborah Finch

Invasive Species2010RMRS

ID: 399
How to measure, describe and map wildland fuels

Results from a new study have profound implications for fire management and may render many conventional fuel products and analyses inappropriat ...

Principal Investigator : Robert Keane

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 111
Improved Air-Quality Models Help Land Managers and Regulators

New research helps reduce the effects of wildfire emissions on human health, economic activity, and scenic integrity

Principal Investigator : Shawn Urbanski

Wildland Fire and Fuels2012RMRS

ID: 256
Improving the assessment of wildfire risk

A new risk analysis framework has been designed to help resource managers and policy-makers weigh investments and mitigation measures to reduce ...

Principal Investigator : Cindy S. Swanson

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010RMRS

ID: 244
Management of Western Water Resources in a Changing Climate

Hydrologists and water and resource managers from National Forests and eight governmental and non-governmental organizations planned and partici ...

Principal Investigator : Cindy S. Swanson

Water, Air, and Soil2010RMRS

ID: 395
Mountain pine beetle effects on fire behavior

Studies are shining light on how pine beetles affect wildfire.

Principal Investigator : Matt Jolly

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 271
National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2011 percent tree canopy product

Forest Inventory and Analysis Program scientists throughout the country are collaborating with the Remote Sensing Applications Center to develop ...

Principal Investigator : Michael Wilson

Inventory and Monitoring2010RMRS

ID: 398
New collaborative project focuses on tribal climate change issues in the Southwest

This southwestern project is helping Native American tribes identify how climate change is affecting them and how to address these issues.

Principal Investigator : Carol Raish

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 391
New protocols help understand changing soils

Forest Service scientists have met the challenge of developing meaningful soil quality standards that can evaluate the full range of variability ...

Principal Investigator : Deborah Page-Dumroese

Water, Air, and Soil2011RMRS

ID: 245
New Toolkit Automates the Interpretation of Digital Channel Maps

Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists are developing a computer application called the River Bathymetry Toolkit (RBT) that automatically ex ...

Principal Investigator : Frank McCormick

Water, Air, and Soil2010RMRS

ID: 124
Ozone Air Pollution Threatens Remote National Forest Mountain Areas

Scientists are using a portable battery-powered monitor to evaluate O3 at several high-elevation, remote locations in the Rocky Mountain West

Principal Investigator : Robert Musselman

Water, Air, and Soil2012RMRS

ID: 125
Ozone Air Pollution Threatens Remote National Forest Mountain Areas



Principal Investigator : Robert Musselman

Water, Air, and Soil2012RMRS

ID: 247
Pioneering genetics research aids in fisher survival

Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and collaborators have pioneered a mitochondrial genome sequencing technique that can be used to answ ...

Principal Investigator : William Block

Wildlife and Fish2010RMRS

ID: 138
Predicting Future Spruce Beetle Infestations

Scientists model the effects of increasing temperatures and forest stand conditions on the likelihood of spruce beetle infestation over time

Principal Investigator : R. Justin DeRose

Inventory and Monitoring2012RMRS

ID: 385
Producing biochar from forest biomass

All that dead wood in our forests can be used to make charcoal, synthetic gas, and even fuel for our vehicles.

Principal Investigator : Dan McCollum

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 123
Quantifying Phosphorus Delivery Pathways in Forest Watersheds

Predictive model clearly shows the importance of lateral flow in delivering phosphorus from steep forested hillslopes to forest streams

Principal Investigator : William Elliot

Water, Air, and Soil2012RMRS

ID: 270
Rangelands On The Edge

City and county planners across the US will have a new toolkit to better manage development encroachment into rangelands. The 'Rangelands on the ...

Principal Investigator : Cindy S. Swanson

Inventory and Monitoring2010RMRS

ID: 276
Reducing Spruce Beetle-Caused Mortality in the Southern Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists, partnered with Forest Service Forest Health Protection, have determined that partial forest cutting ...

Principal Investigator : Matthew Hurteau

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 110
Research Helps Conserve and Restore Shrub Dominated Ecosystems

Helping to make prudent, research-based decisions to improve shrublands in the Interior West

Principal Investigator : Bryce Richardson

Resource Management and Use2012RMRS

ID: 127
Risk Analysis Prioritizes Investments in Hazardous Fuels Reduction

Scientists mitigate the adverse impacts of wildland fires

Principal Investigator : Matthew Thompson

Outdoor Recreation
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2012RMRS

ID: 122
Scientists Conserve the Seeds of Today To Propagate the Best Adapted Plants of Tomorrow

Project is aimed at restoring damaged grasslands, shrublands, and deserts

Principal Investigator : Nancy Shaw

Outdoor Recreation
Resource Management and Use
2012RMRS

ID: 108
Scientists Study Endangered Mexican Spotted Owl

Research provides information useful to managers charged with conserving and restoring Mexican spotted owls and their habitat

Principal Investigator : Joseph Ganey

Outdoor Recreation
Wildlife and Fish
2012RMRS

ID: 254
Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Fire Findings Published

In 2010, the Rocky Mountain Research Station published ground-breaking findings on fire behavior in southwestern ponderosa pine forests. Using t ...

Principal Investigator : William Block

Wildland Fire and Fuels2010RMRS

ID: 140
The Effectiveness of Wildfire as a Fuel Treatment

New research results provide crucial information to land managers as they assess trade-offs associated with wildfire suppression and appropriate ...

Principal Investigator : Sean Parks

Wildland Fire and Fuels2012RMRS

ID: 107
The Effects of Climate Change in Grasslands, Shrublands, and Deserts

Studies show that by the turn of the century, climate in the Western United States may be incompatible with current vegetation types, resulting ...

Principal Investigator : Deborah Finch

Resource Management and Use
Invasive Species
Wildlife and Fish
2012RMRS

ID: 109
The Effects of Energy Development on Hawks and Golden Eagles Documented

Results from a new wildlife study help managers develop conservation measures for ferruginous hawks and golden eagles in areas being developed f ...

Principal Investigator : John Squires

Wildlife and Fish2012RMRS

ID: 400
The hidden consequences of fire suppression

Researchers are investigating the true costs of suppressing wildfires and finding results that will have broad national applicability. Their me ...

Principal Investigator : Carol Miller

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 401
The Intersection of Science and Technology Transfer

Growers and users of the approximately one billion native plants produced each year in the United States now have the best information available ...

Principal Investigator : Kas Dumroese

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 389
Understanding climate change trends on tribal reservations

Station scientists are working with Native American tribes to understand how tribal members and resource managers perceive forecasted climate ch ...

Principal Investigator : Alan Watson

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 392
Understanding the physical processes of fire spread

The latest research suggests a completely new approach to understanding and modeling the spread of forest fires - creating new opportunities for ...

Principal Investigator : Mark Finney

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 141
Unwanted Side Effects of Roads Are Invasive Species

Monitoring invasive plants is an important component of forest restoration

Principal Investigator : Justin Runyon

Invasive Species2012RMRS

ID: 139
Updated Computer Model Helps Managers Better Estimate Visitation to Camp Sites

Model simulates travel patterns for 11,000 groups in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Principal Investigator : Alan Watson

Outdoor Recreation2012RMRS

ID: 404
Using Escaped Fire Reviews to Improve Organizational Learning

Through data collection and workshops, researchers are shedding light on who learns what from reviewing information on escaped fires.

Principal Investigator : Anne Black

Wildland Fire and Fuels2011RMRS

ID: 249
Using timber-survey data to assess habitat of the threatened Mexican spotted owl

The Mexican spotted owl's southwestern roosting habitat has increased significantly on public land, is almost disappearing on private land, but ...

Principal Investigator : Michael Wilson

Wildlife and Fish2010RMRS

ID: 382
Visualizing carbon storage of harvested and burned forests

New research at the Rocky Mountain Research Station has developed a process to visualize how harvested and burned stands contribute to overall c ...

Principal Investigator : Sean Healey

Resource Management and Use2011RMRS

ID: 275
Whitebark Pine Management Guide Published

Don't expect the Clark's nutcracker, a jay-size bird named for the Lewis and Clark expedition's William Clark, to save the declining whitebark p ...

Principal Investigator : Colin Hardy

Resource Management and Use2010RMRS

ID: 142
Why Do the Exotics Beat the Natives: Where Is the Home-Team Advantage

New research sets forth a framework for understanding why exotic plants invade and how to fight the invasions

Principal Investigator : Dean Pearson

Invasive Species2012RMRS

ID: 126
Wilderness Fellows Program Engages Youth in Federal Land Management

Program helps agencies develop a baseline assessment of wilderness character and integrate that character in wilderness planning, management, an ...

Principal Investigator : Peter Landres

Outdoor Recreation
Inventory and Monitoring
2012RMRS

ID: 246
Wolverine Futures in a Changing Climate

Rocky Mountain Research Station researchers have demonstrated that wolverines are dependent on persistent spring snow for denning and this facto ...

Principal Investigator : William Block

Wildlife and Fish2010RMRS