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Researchers to torch beetle-killed trees in Rocky Mountain National Park
summit daily news ^ | November 14, 2008 | Bob Berwyn

Posted on 11/15/2008 9:35:44 AM PST by george76

An experimental fire planned for beetle-killed lodgepole pines in Rocky Mountain National Park should help determine when the trees are most flammable.

Officials incessantly cite the increased risk of fire danger in beetle-killed forests as the prime reason to cut and thin dead lodgepole pines.

But controlled burns also could prove a useful tool in treating blighted stands of pines, especially when it comes to regenerating new stands.

The risk of a crown fire is thought to be greatest in stands comprised primarily of standing dead trees with red needles than among healthy, green trees.

Sometime in the next few weeks, they hope to start answering some of those questions by deliberately torching both beetle-killed trees at various stages of mortality, as well as live lodgepoles...

The experiment is aimed at learning more about the impacts of the mountain pine-beetle epidemic on fire behavior...

The research could also help determine how important fire is to the regeneration of lodgepole-pine forests, and whether burning trees with snow on the ground is a viable alternative to logging in the quest to protect communities from wildfires.

Along with investigating the flammability of lodgepole-pine crowns, the pilot project also will look at the mechanisms of pine-seed dispersal following beetle attack and the survival of beetle larvae following burning.

“We’re also interested to see if the cones will open in a winter burn,”

Some lodgepole pinecones open only with the intense heat of a fire. Other cones simply open some time after falling to the ground. Rocca said those differences are determined by genetics and evolution.

Research from Yellowstone suggests that lodgepoles at lower elevations, where fire is more frequent, produce a higher number of the fire-dependent, seratinous cones, while pines at higher elevations, where there is less fire, produce more of the non-seratinous cones.

(Excerpt) Read more at summitdaily.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: beetle; beetles; environment; fire; logging; wildfires
Logging to protect communities from wildfires would be nice.

Good paying outdoor jobs that provide an American product : lumber and more.

.

1 posted on 11/15/2008 9:35:46 AM PST by george76
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To: calcowgirl; rellimpank; Seadog Bytes; forester; SierraWasp; jan in Colorado; dynachrome; ...

2 posted on 11/15/2008 9:38:58 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
The KEY sentence:

whether burning trees with snow on the ground is a viable alternative to logging

GAIA forbid that those EEEEEEVIL humans take something dead and make something useful out of it!

3 posted on 11/15/2008 9:40:34 AM PST by Don W (To write with a broken pencil is pointless.)
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To: george76

Me worry?

What could go wrong?


4 posted on 11/15/2008 9:45:14 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: george76

Ya, these guys have all of the genius of a 10 year old.

Of course it will work!
The problem is getting around all of the environmental “do-gooders”, who believe that if man is involved, it must be bad.


5 posted on 11/15/2008 9:45:19 AM PST by G Larry (Barack’s character has been molded by extremists)
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To: george76

Pine Beetle infestation near Granby, CO

It is amazing what destruction a little bug can do to an entire forest.

It is sickening, that certain groups have outlawed the use of insecticides that could have stopped this nightmare.


6 posted on 11/15/2008 9:51:07 AM PST by yorkie (The cheapest , most effective and profound face lift? Laughter.)
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To: george76; Rushmore Rocks
Logging to protect communities from wildfires would be nice.

Thanks, George; today, in California, they're probably wishing they'd gotten rid of some of those dead trees before the fires removed them.

7 posted on 11/15/2008 9:51:48 AM PST by LucyT (..................Don't go wobbly now.................)
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To: LucyT

Oprah and her liberals friends are getting a dose of reality.

Air pollution, killing wildlife, losing homes & businesses, and soil destruction now.

Next, they will get water pollution from the ash .


8 posted on 11/15/2008 9:58:01 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: george76
Good paying outdoor jobs that provide an American product : lumber and more.

Firewood and paper pulp. The beetle eaten wood often has bore holes that makes it undesirable as lumber.

9 posted on 11/15/2008 9:59:26 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

There is a lumber industry there, but a lot of this kill is ladder fuel, small diameter stuff with blue stain and worm holes. They can burn this off to prevent it being logged and used positively, then the celebrities can rush in and build houses, so that during the next fire, they can whine about being burned out.

You cannot legislate common sense.


10 posted on 11/15/2008 10:23:28 AM PST by Concho (Bitterly Clinging to Guns and Religion)
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To: Concho

Intentional pollution by environmentalists. How quaint.


11 posted on 11/15/2008 10:26:57 AM PST by pacpam (action=consequence and applies in all cases - friend of victory)
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To: george76

There are new mills opening up in the middle of this infestation to turn these dead trees into wood pellets for wood stoves, a perfectl good use for the beetle killed trees. Burning them is a waste of money, becaus they are a resource.


12 posted on 11/15/2008 11:15:59 AM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer

They end up being burned either way.

It just dosn’t count if something useful results from the burning.

I predict that this experiment will be announced an unqualified success, if for no other reason than to prevent capitalists from getting their hands on this natural resource.


13 posted on 11/15/2008 11:24:21 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Vince Ferrer

wood pellets for wood stoves would help working families trying to save money to pay their new Obama taxes.


14 posted on 11/15/2008 11:38:47 AM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: LucyT

When we had our sawmill in Wyo, one of our most popular products was “Silver Pine Paneling”.

It was nothing more than bettle killed Ponderosa Pine. The lumber was tinted with silvery blue streaks. Actually, very pretty. It was inexpensive to produce and we got a premium price for it when we shipped it back east.


15 posted on 11/15/2008 12:26:02 PM PST by Rushmore Rocks
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To: george76

Log a tree? Never! Let’em be eaten by beetles and then burn’em!


16 posted on 11/15/2008 12:43:01 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Incorrigible
What could possibly go wrong? The Park Service? Prescribed burning? No problem. they've got it covered. (Los Alamos, NM, 2001. 48,000 acres. 400 homes burned, thousands evacuated and a $2billion a year National Laboratory shut down for weeks. No way they'll ever repeat that, right?(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Grande_Fire)

"The fire originated as a controlled burn that was part of the 10-year Bandelier National Monument plan for reducing fire hazard within the monument...

"In the aftermath of the disaster, Bandelier officials came under intense criticism for this plan, and particularly, for proceeding with it in the face of what appeared to be powerful contraindications. The main bone of contention was wind. The Jemez Mountains are prone to strong winds in the spring that frequently exceed 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Critics insisted that the likelihood of such winds while the controlled burn was in progress was so great, and the risk of resulting loss of control so severe, that the burn should never have been attempted at that time of year. At the same time, Bandelier officials faced a most disagreeable dilemma. Proceeding with the burn risked disaster if control was lost, as indeed happened; but failure to do the burn might also be disastrous, because the entire southern slope of Cerro Grande was tinder-dry and ready to ignite catastrophically in the event of a lightning strike (hardly unusual in the Jemez in the spring) or human carelessness with fire. The same winds that militated against starting the controlled burn might then drive the uncontrolled fire toward Los Alamos, with terrible consequences. In any case, the controlled burn was indeed initiated on May 4, and things rapidly got out of hand".

I'm sure the Park Service can handle it just fine. /sarc/

17 posted on 11/15/2008 2:47:21 PM PST by conservativeharleyguy (If dissent is "patriotic", I just became America's loudest Patriot!)
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