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Science Application & Communication
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  • 240 West Prospect
  • Fort Collins, CO 80526
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Science You Can Use Bulletin

The Science Use Can Use Bulletin is published regularly and seeks to provide scientific information to people who make and influence decisions about managing land.

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Contact the editors with questions, comments or suggestions.

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Issue 14: November/December 2014
From Watersheds to the Web: Online Tools for Modeling Forest Soil Erosion
It is easy to take the soil beneath our feet for granted, but the process of erosion can cause this life-sustaining resource to simply blow away or wash downhill in a relatively short amount of time. Soil erosion is a widespread problem in both agricultural and forested ecosystems, and is the number one cause of land degradation worldwide.

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Issue 13: September/October 2014
Burgeoning Biomass: Creating Efficient and Sustainable Forest Biomass Supply Chains in the Rockies
Woody biomass could be used to generate energy in the western US if the utilization process is both economically feasible and ecologically sustainable. This issue of the Bulletin is focused on research addressing challenges of the biomass supply chain, from the time that a forest treatment is initiated to the time that the biomass residue reaches an end user.

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Issue 12: July/August 2014
Climate Change, Crowd-Sourcing, and Conserving Aquatic Biotas in the Rocky Mountains This Century
Climate change is causing rapid changes to stream habitats across the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest. Fish habitats at lower elevations are particularly vulnerable. Rocky Mountain Research scientists are developing applied management tools that harness the power of crowd-sourcing for collaboration and resource allocation decisions that may help to conserve some of the aquatic biotas currently at risk.

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Issue 11: May/June 2014
Toadflax Stem Miners and Gallers: The Original Weed Whackers
A field of flowering toadflax might seem picturesque to the casual observer. The aesthetic appeal of Dalmatian and yellow toadflax’s showy, snapdragon-like blossoms might help explain why these species have spread across thousands of acres in the US. But Dalmatian and yellow toadflax number among the most challenging invasive weeds to manage in the Intermountain West.

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Issue 10: March/April 2014
Our Relationship with a Dynamic Landscape: Understanding the 2013 Northern Colorado Flood
The destruction and loss of life that resulted from the September 2013 Northern Colorado flood was tremendous and includes an estimated $2 billion in overall damage, and $44 million in damage to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. However, destructive floods are not uncommon on Colorado’s Front Range; National Forests and surrounding lands are dynamic, hazard-prone natural landscapes. Our collective ability to understand and learn from this event, in Colorado and elsewhere, can influence social choices, policies, and management into the future.

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Issue 9: Jan/Feb 2014
Revisiting Disturbance: A New Guide for Keeping Dry Mixed Conifer Forests Healthy through Fuel Management
Planning for hazardous fuels reduction can be challenging. Developed in close consultation with land managers, this new guide contains a synthesis of the best information on the management community’s most frequently asked questions.

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Issue 8: November/December 2013
Coming to a Landscape Near You: Natural Resource Changes in the Interior West
In the coming decades, population growth, economic growth, and associated land-use changes—in concert with climate change— will influence forests and rangelands in the Interior West. Society’s demand for ecosystem goods and services continues to increase as human and biophysical change alter the productive capacity of these lands. The 2010 RPA Assessment uses scenario-based socioeconomic and climatic projections to analyze these natural resource trends.

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Issue 7: September/October 2013
Fire on the Mountain: What Motivates Homeowners to Reduce Their Wildfire Risk?
Issue 7 reports on research that explores the attitudes and perceptions of homeowners in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) as they relate to taking action to reduce wildfire risk on their property. This information can help managers, extension professionals, and the fire community become more effective in education and outreach efforts to WUI homeowners, which may help to mitigate both the financial and human costs of fighting fires in the WUI.

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Issue 6: July/August 2013
New Tools for Mapping & Understanding Fire Severity
Issue 6 describes five tools being developed as part of the Fire Severity Mapping Project (FIRESEV) that can help managers in all phases of fire management including real-time forecasts and assessments in wildfire situations, wildfire rehabilitation efforts, and long-term planning.

Issue 5: May/June 2013
Our Forests in the [Water] Balance
Issue 5 examines the ways in which climate change affects precipitation patterns, thereby affecting streamflow, wildfire risk, and overall forest health.

Issue 4: March/April 2013
Return of the King: Western White Pine Conservation in a Changing Climate
Issue 4 explores the ways in which new research can inform smart restoration of western white pine, a foundational ecological species that once contributed to the health, resilience, and economic vitality of forests in the Interior Northwest, in today’s era of climate change.

Issue 3: January/February 2013
Upwardly Mobile in the Western U.S. Desert: Blackbrush Shrublands Respond to a Changing Climate
Issue 3 discusses the ecology of a desert shrubland dominated by blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a species which has been the subject of decades of work. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station have been studying the response of this species to assess whether it can move upward in elevation and latitude as the climate warms.

Issue 2: December 2012
Wildfire Triage: Targeting Mitigation Based on Social, Economic, and Ecological Values
Issue 2 explores an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating the risks of wildfire relative to the valuable resources found in any managed landscape. USFS researchers developed such a process, using a combination of techniques rooted in fire modeling and ecology, economics, decision sciences, and the human dimensions of managing natural resources.

Issue 1: October 2012
From Death Comes Life: Recovery and Revolution in the Wake of Epidemic Outbreaks of Mountain Pine Beetle
Issue 1 sheds light on what the future might hold after the waves of mountain pine beetles recede. Researchers are already finding that beetles may impart a characteristic critically lacking in many pine forests today: structural complexity and species diversity.