Management Goals and Treatments

A team of natural resource specialists from the Flathead National Forest/Coram Experimental Forest and regional scientists participated in a three-day workshop in June 2016 to develop the ASCC treatments for the site. The team developed a set of management objectives, desired future conditions, and silvicultural tactics for each adaptation option:

RESISTANCE

Trout Lake treatment; Photo Credit: Melissa Jenkins, Flathead National Forest
Trout Lake treatment; Photo Credit: Melissa Jenkins, Flathead National Forest

maintain relatively unchanged conditions over time

Management Goals: 

  • maintain pre-treatment species composition and structure of western larch and mixed conifer, but with slightly decreased representation of shade-intolerant species
  • sustain high tree vigor
  • trees are fire-resistant with thick bark, high crowns, and low canopy bulk density
  • low surface fuels
  • trees are healthy with low incidence of insects and diseases

Strategies & Approaches: 

  • uniform thin of shade-intolerant conifer species to 75-85 ft2/acre
  • favor western larch retention
  • reduce ladder fuels and burn slash piles 

RESILIENCE

Flathead National Forest; Photo Credit: Molly Roske
Flathead National Forest; Photo Credit: Molly Roske

allow some change in current conditions, but encourage eventual return to original conditions

Management Goals: 

  • increase proportion and development of long-lived, fire-adapted species
  • maintain genetic diversity via large diameter, long-lived trees and planting tree improvement seed
  • enhance spatial and structural heterogeneity
  • maintain high productivity and supply of wood products at regular intervals
  • promote development of large-diameter, long-lived trees to promote old-growth characteristics
  • reduce hazard of crown fire
  • maintain low surface fuels
  • maintain low levels of insects and diseases
  • maintain and improve forage production

Strategies & Approaches: 

  • create 2-4 acre openings with feathered edges and 6-8 scattered seed tree clumps per acre
  • uniform thinning to 75-85 ft2/acre in the matrix 
  • favor western larch, western white pine, and ponderosa pine through retention and planting of tree improvement seed from higher and lower elevations
  • slash and/or remove damaged trees to facilitate site preparation
  • reduce ladder fuels and burn slash piles

TRANSITION

actively facilitate change to encourage adaptive responses

Management Goals: 

Transition ASCC plots on Flathead National Forest
Transition ASCC plots on Flathead National Forest
  • increase proportion and development of the most fire-adapted and drought-tolerant species and genotypes (30% western larch, 25% western white pine, 35% ponderosa pine, and 10% other (i.e. Douglas-fir, aspen, paper birch))
  • enhance spatial and structural heterogeneity
  • maintain high productivity and supply of timber products at regular intervals
  • promote development of large-diameter long-lived trees (average 10-16 trees per acre) in clumps with scattered trees
  • maintain low level of insects and diseases
  • reduce hazard of crown fire and spread by reducing ladder fuels
  • maintain low surface fuels
  • maintain and improve forage production

Strategies & Approaches: 

  • seed tree cut with reserves, leaving 6-8 scattered seed tree clumps of western larch, ponderosa pine, and western white pine per acre
  • favor larch and plant tree improvement seed of ponderosa pine, western white pine, and western larch from both higher and lower elevations
  • slash and/or remove damaged trees to facilitate site preparation
  • reduce ladder fuels and burn slash piles