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Keyword: wilderness

Monitoring selected conditions related to wilderness character: a national framework

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
One of the central mandates of the 1964 Wilderness Act is that “each agency administering any area designated as wilderness shall be responsible for preserving the wilderness character of the area.” Although wilderness comprises about 20 percent of National Forest System lands (over 35 million acres), the agency lacks a way to evaluate progress in fulfilling this mandate.

Linking wilderness research and management-volume 1. Wilderness fire restoration and management: an annotated reading list

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
The Wilderness Act of 1964 designates wilderness areas as places where natural conditions prevail and humans leave landscapes untrammeled. Managers of wilderness and similarly protected areas have a mandate to maintain wildland fire as a natural ecological process. However, because fire suppression has dominated Federal land management for most of the past century, the natural role of fire has been lost from many wilderness areas.

Wilderness uses, users, values, and management

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
This chapter is a compendium of six papers written to add further depth to our national assessment of Wilderness, begun with the previous chapter. The first three papers summarize research and experience about the identity of Wilderness users and how Wilderness is used, use of Wilderness for personal growth, and changes of Wilderness values.

Linking wilderness research and management-volume 4. Understanding and managing invasive plants in wilderness and other natural areas: an annotated reading list

Publications Posted on: May 12, 2016
Nonnative invasive plants are altering ecosystems around the world with alarming speed. They outcompete native plants and ultimately change the composition and function of the ecosystems they invade. This poses a particular problem in wilderness and other natural areas that are set aside to maintain natural conditions.

Wildland fire limits subsequent fire occurrence

Publications Posted on: December 16, 2015
Several aspects of wildland fire are moderated by site- and landscape-level vegetation changes caused by previous fire, thereby creating a dynamic where one fire exerts a regulatory control on subsequent fire. For example, wildland fire has been shown to regulate the size and severity of subsequent fire. However, wildland fire has the potential to influence other properties of subsequent fire.

Comparing expected to observed area burned in the western United States

FS News Posted on: December 16, 2015
In order to restore and maintain resilient and healthy ecosystems, land managers need better information on what level of fire is appropriate for any given region, and further, a better understanding of current departures from natural levels of fire activity. Scientists developed a model to quantify these departures in expected fire activity, which is presented in a new study published in the December 2015 issue of the journal Ecosphere: “Wildland fire deficit and surplus in the western United States, 1984-2012.”

Wildland fire deficit and surplus in the western United States, 1984-2012

Publications Posted on: December 15, 2015
Wildland fire is an important disturbance agent in the western US and globally. However, the natural role of fire has been disrupted in many regions due to the influence of human activities, which have the potential to either exclude or promote fire, resulting in a "fire deficit" or "fire surplus", respectively.

Data on wilderness experience stewardship from a 2001-2002 visitor survey at Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve

Datasets Posted on: November 24, 2015
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (GAAR) is a remote area in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska. GAAR contains more than 7 million acres of federally designated wilderness, but hosts only about 600 recreation visitors per year. A two-year, two-phase project was implemented at GAAR to provide scientific input to visitor management and backcountry planning.

Keeping it wild 2: An updated interagency strategy to monitor trends in wilderness character across the National Wilderness Preservation System

Publications Posted on: October 20, 2015
Keeping It Wild 2 is an interagency strategy to monitor trends in selected attributes of wilderness character based on lessons learned from 15 years of developing and implementing wilderness character monitoring across the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Fifty years of research in Wilderness Areas

Science Spotlights Posted on: October 14, 2015
The Wilderness Act noted its 50th anniversary in the signing of the law in 2014. Leopold Institute scientists and partners contributed five major articles highlighting 50 years of Wilderness science.

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