Robert B. Campbell
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Aspen Restoration Efforts on the Fishlake National Forest: Lessons Learned
Henningson, Allen V., USDA-FS Fishlake NF, Richfield, UT, Robert B. Campbell, Jr., USDA-FS Fishlake NF, Richfield, UT, and Dale L. Bartos, USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forestry Sciences Lab, Logan, UT.
More than 30 different areas with aspen, totaling at least 20,000 acres, have been treated on lands administered by the Fishlake National Forest during the past 25 years. Aspen harvests, conifer harvests, prescribed burns, combinations of these treatments, wildland fire use, and wildfire have all resulted in vigorous stands of young aspen. Examples of these treatments will be shown and discussed. Some of these areas had stable aspen stands; other areas had decadent aspen where the stands were falling apart. However, most of the treated areas were successional to conifers and included a component of Engelmann spruce, sub-alpine fir and/or Douglas-fir.
Many of these areas show excellent, or acceptable, success for aspen regeneration.
However, responses have been mixed; not all have done well, and others essentially
do not have any aspen regeneration remaining in the treated area. Several lessons
can be learned from these treatments on the Fishlake N.F. Aspen will respond to a
variety of treatments done during every season of the year. It is rare that a stand
with aspen present would not produce suckers, usually abundant, if the hormonal response
is stimulated. Protection may be necessary for young aspen suckers to establish and
thrive. Many areas have been fenced; some have high fences to exclude wildlife while
other fences exclude only livestock. However, the fences may have been installed too
late in a few cases. There is value in using three-way exclosures to help determine
the kind of use. Treatments can be modified to enhance environmental conditions for
optimum sucker production. We recommend that only a part of the clone or area be treated
at one time; do nothing in the remaining portion. Use fire as an element of the treatment
if advanced conifer regeneration is abundant and likely to compromise successful aspen
regeneration. Priority should be given to treating areas that are successional to