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Bryce Canyon National Park

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The major objective of this ongoing study is to document vegetative changes resulting from alteration of the fire regime in the mixed conifer/aspen communities of Bryce Canyon National Park. Previous fire history studies have documented fire return intervals using fire scar analysis of ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa in the park (Buchannan and Tolman 1983: Wight 1989) and for the Paunsaugunt Plateau (Stein 1988). Numerous other studies have similarly documented the fire regime in pre-European settlement ponderosa pine forests in western North America. The study is being conducted in the more mesic mixed conifer communities at the south end of Bryce Canyon National Park and will specifically document vegetative changes suggested by Roberts et al. (1992) resulting from suppression of frequent low intensity surface fires and overgrazing.