Principles and practices for the restoration of ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests of the Colorado Front Range

Addington, R.N., G.H. Aplet, M.A. Battaglia, J.S. Briggs, P.M. Brown, A.S. Cheng, Y. Dickinson, J.A. Feinstein, K.A. Pelz, C.M. Regan, J. Thinnes, R. Truex, P.J. Fornwalt, B. Gannon, C.W. Julian, J.L. Underhill, B. Wolk

Publication Date:

Wildfires have become larger and more severe over the past several decades on Colorado’s Front Range, catalyzing greater investments in forest management intended to mitigate wildfire risks. The complex ecological, social, and political context of the Front Range, however, makes forest management challenging, especially where multiple management goals including forest restoration exist. In this report, the authors present a science-based framework for managers to develop place-based approaches to forest restoration of Front Range ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests. The authors first present ecological information describing how Front Range forest structure and composition are shaped at multiple scales by interactions among topography, natural disturbances such as fire, and forest developmental processes.  Implementation of these guidelines is expected to enhance forest resilience to disturbance and climate change, as well as sustain important ecosystem services. Finally, this report emphasizes the importance of adaptive management and learning through monitoring and experimentation to address uncertainties inherent in the restoration process.

Resource Type:
Technical Document

United States Department of Agriculture