Muskrat Lakes (MIDNR); Underburning in Dry Pine Forests

Project #: 100837  –   Updated: May 14, 2012

Project Summary

This research project was a cooperative effort between Michigan Technological University (MTU) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, beginning in 2004 and concluding in 2008. It addresses several aspects of the National Fire Plan issues within “rehabilitation and restoration” and “hazardous fuel reduction” categories, including ecological impacts of prescribed fire when used for fuels reduction, interaction of fire with pests and invasive species, restoration of fire-damaged ecosystems and use of fire to restore ecosystems.

Study objectives were to:
-determine the effects o...

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Location (by county):
Luce County (MI)

Watersheds:
Betsy-Chocolay

Congressional Districts:
MI District 01

Bird Conservation Regions:
Boreal Hardwood Transition

USFWS Regions:
Midwest Region

Project size:
244.4 acres

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
05/03/2006: Burn Only Yes
05/23/2006: Burn Only Yes
05/23/2006: Burn Only Yes
05/23/2006: Burn after Thin Yes
04/27/2006: Burn after Thin Yes
05/03/2006: Burn after Thin Yes
04/28/2006: Burn after Thin Yes

Full Project Description

This research project was a cooperative effort between Michigan Technological University (MTU) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, beginning in 2004 and concluding in 2008. It addresses several aspects of the National Fire Plan issues within “rehabilitation and restoration” and “hazardous fuel reduction” categories, including ecological impacts of prescribed fire when used for fuels reduction, interaction of fire with pests and invasive species, restoration of fire-damaged ecosystems and use of fire to restore ecosystems.

Study objectives were to:
-determine the effects of fire and mechanical treatments, alone & together.
-evaluate incidence & impact of forest pests/pathogens in Red Pine stands.
-document effects of treatments on forest vegetation & litter
-relate effects to to the biology of forest pests.

Mechanical treatments were conducted during the winter of 2005/2006 and prescribed fire treatments were conducted as soon as possible afterwards in the spring of 2006 to limit the flammability of the activity/slash fuels.

Data collection and analysis was completed in 2006 and 2007, with the final report, "Interactions Among Prescribed Fire, Mechanical Treatments, Insect Pests and Pathogens in Red Pine", provided among the project links to the right.

The plot network at Muskrat Lakes remains in place and is available for re-measurement in the future. The value of this type of study increases the longer that data collection can take place. This will reveal long-term impacts of the treatments on tree growth, and forest health conditions.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
management of dry northern forest

Consistent with plans:

Forest Plan
MIchigan Department of Natural Resources

Targeted habitats:

    • Forests and Woodlands
      • Conifer Forests
        • Laurentian Jack Pine-Red Pine Forest

Targeted species:

  • Red Pine Pinus resinosa
  • Jack Pine Pinus banksiana
  • Northern Pin Oak Quercus ellipsoidalis

Actions

Project Actions

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
(State Government)

Primary Contact

Paul Gaberdiel  (Unit Fire Supervisor)
MI Dept of Natural Resources
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Project Photos

Dscn9336_detail