Forest Ecosystems

The Colorado Plateau is a forest ecosystem. It needs Adaptive Management to handle Climate Change.

Forest Ecosystems and Government Agencies Edit

The ponderosa pine forest (Pinus ponderosa) on the Colorado Plateau are managed though several government agencies. The United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and other local agencies are the key stake holders in how the forest is managed.

Forest Ecosystem Restoration Edit

Pinus ponderosa forests have gone under intense forest restoration. Controlled burns to remove unwanted and potentially dangerous biomass and forest thinning have been the main applications used in the Pinus ponderosa restoration. The fire regimes have changed greatly in the last 100 years due to anthropogenic causes. Historically, frequent, low intensity ground fires burned the unwanted debris and promoted a healthy forest. Now fires are less frequent, this creates a denser forest which more fuel to be burn. This leads to high intensity “crown” fires which can get out of control and endanger wildlife and humans. Grazing, logging, and fire suppression are the biggest contributors to these drastic change in fire regimes. Much research has been done and still needs to be done to represent how the biotic communities have responded to these prescribed burns and thinning projects in the Pinus ponderosa forest on the Colorado Plateau. (See sources for more information)

Adaptive management Edit

Adaptive Management (AM) embodies environmental awareness and is a flexible management tool which uses statistical analysis to apply to appropriate spatial and temporal scales while use technology to build models used to synthesize alterative option applied to the area studied. AM is crucial in the political areana to offer alternatives in negotiation. The application of AM is a key tool to combat global climate change because of its wide range of application and flexibility. (See sources for more information)

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