Event Title

Overstory and Fuel Loading Changes Following Mechanical Mastication or Thinning of Southwestern Pinyon-Juniper Stands

Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

24-6-2009 8:00 AM

End Date

24-6-2009 8:20 AM

Description

Mechanical mastication treatments are becoming common for treating fuels or for stand restoration in the western United States. Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a dominant vegetation type on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management at the Dolores Service Center of the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. The woodlands surround many rural and exurban housing developments and towns in the region. Mortality in these stands has been great during this decade because of drought, high stand densities, and the regional infestation of the bark beetle Ips confusus. The high mortality has contributed to increased standing and dead and down woody fuels. Managers are using mechanical mastication or traditional thinning-piling-burning treatments to reduce fuels and the risk of fire within the wildland-urban-interface (WUI). Mastication is used in more remote areas to restore more natural stand densities. The Dolores Service Center is planning to masticate 2,000 to 3,000 acres annually. Standard thinning treatments are used in WUI areas adjacent to recreation areas or developed areas where scenic considerations are important. Little information is available about the effects of mastication on the overstory, understory (including invasive species), fuel loadings, and soil resources. A study supported by the Joint Fire Science Program is comparing the effects of mastication, thinning, and no treatment on resources of pinyon-juniper stands in southwestern Colorado. This presentation will compare overstory and fuel loading changes in a stand dominated by pinyon (Pinus edulis) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), with Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum). Overstory measurements were collected from plots within 36-acre representative treatment sites before and after treatments using woodland inventory procedures and fuel loading measurements were collected using the Brown technique. Results from the companion soil study are present in this session by S. Overby.

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Jun 24th, 8:00 AM Jun 24th, 8:20 AM

Overstory and Fuel Loading Changes Following Mechanical Mastication or Thinning of Southwestern Pinyon-Juniper Stands

Mechanical mastication treatments are becoming common for treating fuels or for stand restoration in the western United States. Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a dominant vegetation type on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management at the Dolores Service Center of the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. The woodlands surround many rural and exurban housing developments and towns in the region. Mortality in these stands has been great during this decade because of drought, high stand densities, and the regional infestation of the bark beetle Ips confusus. The high mortality has contributed to increased standing and dead and down woody fuels. Managers are using mechanical mastication or traditional thinning-piling-burning treatments to reduce fuels and the risk of fire within the wildland-urban-interface (WUI). Mastication is used in more remote areas to restore more natural stand densities. The Dolores Service Center is planning to masticate 2,000 to 3,000 acres annually. Standard thinning treatments are used in WUI areas adjacent to recreation areas or developed areas where scenic considerations are important. Little information is available about the effects of mastication on the overstory, understory (including invasive species), fuel loadings, and soil resources. A study supported by the Joint Fire Science Program is comparing the effects of mastication, thinning, and no treatment on resources of pinyon-juniper stands in southwestern Colorado. This presentation will compare overstory and fuel loading changes in a stand dominated by pinyon (Pinus edulis) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), with Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum). Overstory measurements were collected from plots within 36-acre representative treatment sites before and after treatments using woodland inventory procedures and fuel loading measurements were collected using the Brown technique. Results from the companion soil study are present in this session by S. Overby.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/mastication/4