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Western Pine Forests with Continuing Frequent Fire Regimes: Possible Reference Sites for Management

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In contrast to a few isolated forests in northern Mexico, most forests in the western Untied States have been significantly modified by fire suppression, harvesting, and livestock grazing. This has increased their fire hazards and many are in need of restoration. Understanding reference conditions is challenging because we have few intact forests functioning under the continuing influence of climate variation, insects, diseases, and frequent fires. This article summarizes information from reference sites and argues for incorporating natural heterogeneity in restoration targets across similar forests in the United States.

Keywords: Jeffrey pine; Mexico; desired conditions; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forest restoration; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; ponderosa pine; wildfire

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Fire Science Division of Ecosystem Science, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management University of California Berkeley CA 94720-3110, Email: 2: Associate Professor and Associate Director School of Forestry, Ecological Restoration Institute Northern Arizona University Flagstaff AZ 86011, Email:

Publication date: October 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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