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Slash From the Past: Rehabilitating Pile Burn Scars

Resource Category: 
Planning & Development
Working with managers, Rocky Moutain Research Station researchers have evaluated the available treatments for short-term rehabilitation of both smaller, hand-built and larger, machine-built burn piles. For the smaller piles, they found that both soil nitrogen and plant cover recovered to a level similar to that of the surrounding forest within two years, indicating that these scars may not need rehabilitation unless in a sensitive area. Seeding with native mountain brome was an effective option for the larger piles, whereas mechanical treatment either alone or with seeding did not increase plant cover. The root causes behind the long-term lack of trees are not yet clear, and the next step is to conduct field and lab studies to evaluate whether soil factors, competition with grasses, and/or herbivory are possible explanations.

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.