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Title: The importance of wilderness to whitebark pine research and management

Author: Keane, Robert E.

Date: 2000

Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 84-92

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Whitebark pine is a keystone species in upper subalpine forests of the northern Rocky Mountains, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada that has been declining because of recent mountain pine beetle and exotic blister rust epidemics, coupled with advancing succession resulting from fire exclusion. Whitebark pine and Wilderness have a mutually beneficial relationship because 1) half of whitebark pine’s range is in wilderness, 2) many wildlife species depend on whitebark pine ecosystems, 3) whitebark pine forests have high recreation value, and 4) whitebark pine landscapes contain unique ecological processes. Wilderness has not escaped the ravages of beetle, rust and fire exclusion, so restoration of these ecosystems may be warranted in some areas. The best wilderness restoration tool appears to be prescribed fires, especially management-ignited burns. This paper discusses whitebark pine ecology and the importance of the species to wilderness, and presents restoration treatments and management alternatives for these remote settings.

Keywords: wilderness, Pinus albicaulis, whitebark pine, subalpine forests, resource management, ecology, keystone species, forest pests, fire, prescribed burning, restoration,

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Keane, Robert E. 2000. The importance of wilderness to whitebark pine research and management. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 3: Wilderness as a place for scientific inquiry; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-3. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 84-92

 


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