Print Friendly and PDF

Advanced Search Results Detail

Project ID: 04-2-1-106

Year: 2004

Date Started: 07/19/2004

Date Completed: 11/02/2007

Title: Understanding the Influence of Local and Landscape Conditions on the Occurrence and Abundance of Black-Backed Woodpeckers in Burned Forest Patches

Project Proposal Abstract: Wildfire is the predominant disturbance agent in the Northern Rockies. The nearly annual occurrence of wildfire at some point in a larger landscape has served as the environmental backdrop against which our native wildlife species have evolved. A number of native species have, in fact, become dependent on wildfires or wildfire-created habitats and are nearly restricted in their distribution to such conditions. The suppression of wildfires during the past 70 years may have placed many of these fire-dependent species at risk. Excessive fire suppression in the past has also led to the occurrence of more severe fires than would have occurred historically, necessitating fuels reduction treatments to prevent unnaturally severe fires in the future, restore site productivity on heavily burned areas, and protect residual live trees within the burned area perimeter. These activities must be accomplished in the face of meeting the needs of fire-dependent species as well. Unfortunately, while there is strong evidence from the literature that we need to maintain burned-forest habitat for wildlife species, there is little information about precisely how much, where, or in what structural condition. The lack of information is greatest for species such as the Black-backed Woodpecker, which appears to be relatively dependent on dense stands of fire- killed dead trees, and is a sensitive species in the USFS Northern Region for this very reason. This project will investigate the response of Black-backed Woodpeckers to fires of varying prefire management history, fire severity, and post-fire salvage treatments within the mid-elevation mixed-conifer forest types. Data will be used to better understand the conditions needed by this fire specialist, to evaluate the ecological consequences of pre-fire fuels treatments and post-fire salvage logging, and to significantly improve our ability to design future treatments with predictable results in terms of the response of fire-dependent birds. Additionally, the project will provide demonstration sites that will: 1) expose agency officials and the public to basic fire ecology and the complex interrelationships involved; 2) demonstrate how different pre- and post- fire timber harvesting activities can be accomplished while minimizing the negative effects on the most fire-dependent species; and 3) promote a greater understanding for the need to include certain forms of fire in the management of northern Rockies ecosystems.

Principal Investigator: Richard L. Hutto

Agency/Organization: University of Montana

Branch or Dept: Division of Biological Sciences

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Federal Cooperator

Deborah Austin

Forest Service

Lolo National Forest

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Northern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   3224 Journal Article Science
view or print   3040 Journal Article The Roles of Food and Predation in Shaping Adaptive and Maladaptive Behaviors in Postfire Bird Species--Bruce A.L. Robertson
view or print   3236 Journal Article Conservation Biology
view or print   4084 Field Demonstration/Tour A Bird’s-Eye View of Forest Fires in the West
    3911 Invited Paper/Presentation Testimony at Congressman Tom Udall’s Science Forum
    3912 Invited Paper/Presentation Telephone Press Conference with Congressman Tom Udall
    3913 Invited Paper/Presentation Salvaging Science: A Look at Fire and Post-Fire Management in the Northern Rockies, Missoula, MT
    3914 Invited Paper/Presentation Food and Predation Shape the Evolution of Plastic Life History Traits in Dark-Eyed Junco
    3915 Invited Paper/Presentation Slide Show on Fire Effects
    3916 Invited Paper/Presentation Plant and Animal Species Closely Associated With Severely Burned Conifer Forests: Are we Managing for Their Maintenance
    3917 Invited Paper/Presentation Nest Microclimate and the Evolution of Avian Nest Site Preference
    3918 Invited Paper/Presentation The Bird Community in Beetle Outbreak Areas: Surveying for Black-Backed Woodpeckers and Other Species
    3919 Invited Paper/Presentation Using the Distribution Patterns and Adaptations of Plants and Animals to Learn About the Kinds of Fires that Occurred Naturally in the Past
    3920 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Effects in the West
  go to website 3921 Website  
    3922 Field Demonstration/Tour Public Field Trip to Black Mountain
    3923 Field Demonstration/Tour Public Field Trip to Black Mountain
    3924 Field Demonstration/Tour Ecology of the Black Mountain Fire
  go to website 3925 Field Demonstration/Tour ASC Staff Conducted Fire Ecology Module in the Field with Big Sky High School Students
    3926 Field Demonstration/Tour Sussex School Field Trip to Black Mountain
    3927 Field Demonstration/Tour Sussex School Field Trip on Fire Ecology in Glacier National Park
    3928 Field Demonstration/Tour Field Demonstration for USFS Biologists, FMOs, and Line Officers at Black Mountain, MT
    3929 Field Demonstration/Tour Field Trip to Black Mountain for Public
    3930 Field Demonstration/Tour Field Trip to Black Mountain for Public
    3931 Field Demonstration/Tour Fire Ecology Data Collection Field Trip
    3753 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Crown of the Continent Workshop
    3754 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Glacier National Park Interpreters Training Session
    3755 Conference/Symposia/Workshop ASC Staff Conducted Series of Regionally Based Workshops for USFS Biologists
    3756 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Biology and Conservation of Black-Backed Woodpeckers
    3757 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Naturalness of Severe Fire
    3758 Conference/Symposia/Workshop The Naturalness of Severe Fire and the Challenge of Educating the Public
    3759 Invited Paper/Presentation Waterton-Glacier Science History Conference
    3760 Invited Paper/Presentation Changes in Bird Abundance After Wildfire: Importance of Fire Severity and Time Since Fire
    3761 Invited Paper/Presentation Results From Passive and Broadcast Surveys for Black-Backed and Three-Toed Woodpeckers
    6050 Invited Paper/Presentation Using the Spatial Distribution of Black-Backed Woodpeckers to Reconstruct Historically Natural Fire Regimes in the Northern Rockies
    6051 Invited Paper/Presentation Fire Research Results: Hard Science, Soft Delivery
    6052 Invited Paper/Presentation Telephone Press Conference Call Regarding Medford Field Hearings Surrounding HR4200
    6013 Field Demonstration/Tour FIeld Trip to Explain Management Implications of JFSP-Supported Fire Research

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

view or print


Convert PDF documents to an html document using Adobe's online conversion tool.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader