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Non-permanent Fixed Radius Plots: A Monitoring Protocol for Aspen Managers
Steve Kilpatrick, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Jackson, WY
To evaluate the effectiveness of aspen treatments, concrete and measurable objectives are needed along with an acceptable monitoring protocol. In western Wyoming, an interagency group of wildlife habitat biologists, fire ecologists, and fire managers has developed a non-permanent fixed radius plot monitoring protocol for addressing aspen restoration objectives. This protocol is used by managers to monitor objectives desired for the ultimate return of a disturbed clone to an aspen forest. Objective examples include aspen overstory and live sucker density, height, browse status, and conifer density at the stand level. Using this protocol, it is possible to acquire statistically useful sample sizes at the stand level in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Examples of aspen data from several prescribed burn projects are used to illustrate aspen objectives, monitoring protocols, and analyses.