Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Wildland Resources


James N. Long


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) strives to use science-based research to both protect and enhance the management of natural resources. From this overarching goal, the USDA has a specific objective to protect the health and sustainability of forest and rangeland ecosystems. Based on this specific objective, an Advisory Board of natural resource scientists within the Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) was awarded a National Institute of Food and Agricultural (NIFA) grant to train two PhD and two MS students. Their research would focus on managing for resilient forest ecosystem in the Intermountain West.

With input from the advisory board and my PhD committee, my research focused on how to increase forest resilience at multiple scales. Locally, on the T.W. Daniel (TWD) Experimental Forest on the Logan Ranger District, three silvicultural trials were evaluated for resistance and resilience to the spruce beetle (partially funded by the TWD Forestry Fellowship). At the regional scale, a conceptual model was developed to classify forest communities based on structural features. The model was tested with data collected from 15 mountain ranges across the Intermountain West. Additionally, basic forest dynamics of limber pine (Pinus flexilis James.) were summarized across the Intermountain West. All three of these studies will aid in developing and implementing sound forest management practices to increase forest resilience.