USDA Forest Service
 Sustaining Alpine and Forest Ecosystems
Research Locations
Fire Plan Research
National Search
Rocky Mountain Research Station
The Natural Inquirer
Fire Management in the Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Herbarium
First Gov for Kids
First Gov
Additional Questions:

Linda Joyce
Rocky Mountain Research Station
240 West Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-498-2560
 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.USDA logo which links to the department's national site.Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.
Fire Plan Research  

The National Fire Plan (NFP) calls for increasing the capability of federal research and development to support efforts to reduce the human and ecological losses from wildfires. This research project has funded projects in 2 of the 4 focus areas: B. Rehabilitation and Restoration and C. Reducing hazardous fuels and fire risk. The Rocky Mountain Research Station has additional studies funded under the NFP:

Research Description - White pines are an important species that regenerates after fire, helps in reducing soil erosion, and sets the stage for the development of commercially valuable forest types. White pines are also susceptible to white pine blister rust that can kill seedlings and adult trees. Researchers are working on identifying and selecting sources of white pine seeds that display hardiness and resistance to the pathogen so that they may be used in efforts to restore burned areas.
National Fire Plan Key Point – B (Rehabilitation and Restoration)
Team Lead Scientist – Anna Schoettle;, 970-498-1333
Research Approach – Apply ecological, physiological, genetic and meta-population approaches to improve our ability to develop and assess potential management and conservation options for bristlecone, limber and whitebark pine ecosystems.
Research Description – Forests impacts by insects and diseases are more susceptible to wildfires. Researchers are using satellite imagery to look at the impacts of these disturbances in determining the distribution of fire hazard and spread of wildfire. This information will be incorporated into an expert opinion model that can be used to help managers make operational decisions about management options.
National Fire Plan Key Point – C (Hazardous Fuels Reduction)
Team Lead Scientist – John Lundquist,; 970-498-1095
Research Approach – We developed methods to generate sub-stand resolution spatial models of various components of fuel loading by linking field data to satellite imagery, linked these images to fire spread model, developed methods to quantify the relative importance of different types of disturbances, which generate fuels and assessed the relative importance of diseases, and examine how marketing and promotional business tools and concepts might be usefully integrated into this process.
Research Description –Fire suppression and exclusion throughout the Central Rocky Mountains have resulted in conditions that make the risk of catastrophic fires likely. Researchers are gathering information on the types and methods of fuel reduction alternatives that would be best suited to treating these high fuel levels to restore a more natural mix of ecological conditions and reintroduce fire as a management tool.
National Fire Plan Key Point – C (Hazardous Fuels Reduction)
Team Lead Scientist – Linda Joyce;, 970-498-2560
Research Approach – Information and knowledge will be developed (1) on the role of natural disturbances and forest management activities in maintaining healthy forests ecosystems in the West; (2) on the ecological response of these fire-suppressed ecosystems to natural disturbances of insects, disease, and timber management treatments, including regeneration patterns, seedling establishment, endemic levels of insects and disease, and responses in the forests’ nutrient and carbon dynamics. Additionally, we will focus on the development of effective and cost-efficient vegetation manipulation techniques to mimic the fire disturbances when fire is not a viable alternative by establishing benchmarks for the current ecosystem processes, determining the direction of change in these ecological processes, and the development and testing of management treatments to maintain a broader spectrum of ecological conditions along the Front Range and Black Hills and develop and test where possible, management techniques that make fire a viable option for resource management.
Monitoring Fire Effects and Vegetation Recovery on the Jasper Fire, Black Hills National Forest, SD
Research Description: The objective of this study is to address these two questions: 1) What is the relation between fire severity and direct effects of the fire on vegetation and soil? 2) How does the rate of recovery vary by fire severity?
Team Lead Scientist: Wayne Shepperd,, 970-498-1259
Research Approach: Answering these questions involves addressing the physical effects of the fire upon vegetation, documenting natural vegetation recovery from the fire disturbance, and assessing the effectiveness of short-term management efforts to speed recovery, mitigate adverse effects or salvage timber within the burned areas.
Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice | Website Questions