Category: Ecological Research
Title: Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Colorado Front Range, and Recommendations for Ecological Restoration and Fuels Management
Author: Kaufmann, M.R. , Veblen, T.T. , Romme, W.H.
Subject: Fire regimes, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Ecological Restoration, Fuels, Management
Abstract: At the request of The Nature Conservancy and the Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership, the authors of this article are developing brief summaries of the current state of our scientific understanding of historical fire regimes in the forested landscapes of Colorado's Front Range. The area of interest extends from EI Paso and Teller Counties, near Pikes Peak, to Larimer County and the Colorado-Wyoming border. This article focuses on forests in which ponderosa pine is a dominant or co-dominant species. A subsequent article will deal with forests of lodgepole pine, spruce, and fir. M. Kaufmann and T. Veblen have conducted extensive studies of ponderosa pine forest ecology in the southern Front Range (mainly the Cheesman Reservoir area) and the northern Front Range (mainly in and around Boulder County), respectively. This research has led to substantial agreement about the historical role of fire in shaping these forests, and we emphasize these points of agreement in this article, in the section entitled "Things We Know with Relatively High Confidence." Some disagreements and uncertainties also have arisen, and we identify these...
Source: Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership Roundtable, findings of the Ecology Workgroup.