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Project ID: 05-2-1-98

Year: 2005

Date Started: 06/03/2005

Date Completed: 11/20/2009

Title: Effects of Fuels/Fire Risk Reduction Treatments Using Hydro-Mow or Thinning on Pinyon-Juniper Ecosystem Components Within the Wildland-Urban-Interface

Project Proposal Abstract: Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a dominant vegetation type within lands administrated by the USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management in southwestern Colorado. The woodlands traditionally have been viewed as having a low risk of wildfires because of the lack of ground cover and the low stand densities associated with the type. However, stand densities are often high and wildfires will occur naturally given conditions of low humidity, high temperature and wind speeds, and an ignition source. The resulting fires destroy dwellings and have had tragic consequences for fire fighters. Pinyon-juniper woodlands are found adjacent to cities, towns, and rural home developments throughout the Southwest. Drought and insect infestations have resulted in high pinyon mortality increasing fuel loadings and risk of severe wildfires. Managers are using mechanical mastication equipment and traditional thinning with piling and burning to reduce fuels/fire risk within wildland-urban-interface areas; however, managers and the public are concerned about the consequences of using wood mastication techniques on the woodland ecosystem soil and vegetation resources. How does the addition of large amounts of woody material affect soil nutrient status and microbial communities? Do the treatments encourage the establishment of non-native invasive species? How do these changes compare to thinning treatment and to untreated conditions? A study is designed to compare soil and vegetation changes among sites within wildland?urban-interface areas treated by a mastication technique using 'hydro-mow' equipment or by thinning, and an untreated control. The three treatments will be replicated on three separate sites within the jurisdiction of the Dolores Public Lands Office in southwestern Colorado. Results will be applicable to the immediate Forest Service/BLM lands but will have broader implications since mechanical mastication treatments are currently being applied or planned for other pinyon-juniper interface areas throughout the West.

Principal Investigator: Gerald J. Gottfried

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: Tonto National Forest

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Marc D. Abrams

Pennsylvania State University

School of Forest Resources

Co-Principal Investigator

Todd S. Gardiner

Forest Service

San Juan NF-Pagosa Ranger District

Co-Principal Investigator

Steven T. Overby

Forest Service

RMRS-Forest and Woodlands Ecosystem Program

Federal Cooperator

Alison Hill

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Southern 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   3801 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print   790 Photo Masticated Residue at Summit Research Plots
view or print   1132 Photo Masticated at Summit Research Plots Showing Organic Residues and Resprouting Gambel Oak
view or print   1133 Photo Increased Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) Surrounding a Pile Burn at Summitt Research Plots
view or print   7135 Photo Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) 3rd following thinning-piling-burning treatment at Summit research site.
view or print   7027 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Does Mastication Alter Soil N Dynamic in Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands of Southwest Colorado?
view or print   7028 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Soil, Understory and Shrub Responses to Fuel Reduction Treatments in Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands of Southwest Colorado
view or print   7040 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Overstory, Fuel Loading, and Soil Nitrogen Changes Following Mechanical Mastication or Thinning Pinyon-Juniper Stands in Southwestern Colorado
view or print   7041 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Overstory, Fuel Loading, and Soil Changes Following Mechanical Mastication or Thinning of Southwestern Pinyon-Juniper Stands
view or print   7042 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Soil Nitrogen and Microbial Response to Fuel Reduction Treatments in Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands of Southwest Colorado

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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