Date of this Version
Fire Science Brief, Issue 132, April 2011
Mixed red and white pine forests in eastern Upper Michigan saw frequent fires, about every 50–60 years, before Euro-American settlement. Post-settlement, the fire cycle has lengthened and forest composition has shifted to include more jack pine and fi re-sensitive deciduous trees, increasing fuel loadings and changing wildlife habitat along the way. In cooperation with researchers and land managers at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, researchers at The Ohio State University are working out details of combining mechanical treatments with prescribed fire to restore mixed-pine forests dominated by red and white pine. In particular, their findings about red pine ecology could change the way these forests are managed and restored. The researchers advocate mechanical fuels reduction in conjunction with broader ecosystem-based management objectives, such as restoring ecosystem integrity. The researchers will integrate these findings into an adaptive decision support tool to be used in the development of restoration-based fuel reduction recommendations.