2013 WBP Planting in Pony Fire

Project: WBP Planting in Pony Fire – Beaverhead-DeerLodge NF and BLM-Dillon Field Office 2013

Agency/Forest or Park/District: 2012 Pony Fire in Greater Yellowstone Area, Tobacco Root Mountains, Montana

Project coordinator: Rob Gump

Contact: Rob Gump; Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF; 420 Barrett St Dillon, MT 59725; 406-683-3965; rgump@fs.fed.us Emily Guiberson; BLM Dillon Field Office; 1005 Selway Drive Dillon, MT 59725; 406-683-8005; eguibers@blm.gov

Cooperators There are no outside cooperators for this project. There is a unique opportunity for the BLM and Forest Service to work side-by-side in completing this project.

Source of funding /amount FHP: $7,500 Supplemental funding:$15,000 from FS and BLM (employee salaries and equipment)

Dates of restoration efforts February-October 2014

Objectives Restoration of fire burned area – 2012 Pony Fire. BLM and FS will be integrating planting efforts, with 10 acres for each agency. This project is located in high-intensity, stand replacement fire burned acres. This area is a high priority for restoration as identified in the Whitebark Pine Strategy (GYCC 2011). Utilize existing seedlings from the Bridger-Teton National Forest that are suitable to transfer within the GYA to this site in the Tobacco Root Mountains (Mahalovich 2012). Due to an error at the nursery, there are 25,000 seedlings that need to be out-planted in FY2013 or with additional cold storage, in FY2014. This project would utilize 5,000 of those seedlings.

Acres/ha treated Plant 20 acres; 5,000 seedlings (10ac on BLM-Dillon Office, 10ac on BDNF).

Methods Sites for planting on both the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF and the Dillon area of the BLM have been identified on the ground and are ready for planting. Planting sites have been determined, and are in high severity burn areas where little understory vegetation competition currently exists, though suitable microsites exist. Planting windows in the past few years have varied, with droughty conditions occurring early last summer; by planting this area with local crews, this proposal can be adjusted to take place when the best planting window occurs (either summer or fall plant). The whitebark pine planting guidelines will be followed (McCaughey et al 2009).

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance? Yes, seeds from local rust resistant sources.

Outcome Both the BLM office and the Forest are anticipating planting the Pony Fire.  A small amount of surplus seedlings (300 trees) were planted on the BLM–side this past spring in FY13 with both agencies conducting the planting. The BLM in particular have not done this type of project (tree planting whitebark pine) and are eager to complete this project.  The outcome is anticipated to meet the objectives.  A follow-up report will be submitted to FHP to provide the final verdict.

Monitoring since completion of the project : Survival exams            

Dates   September 2014            

Plans for future monitoring?  Yes, Third and Fifth year survival exams; certification of stand completed

Will outcome meet goals The outcome is anticipated to meet the objectives.  A follow-up report will be submitted to FHP to provide the final verdict.

Future actions/follow up Once planting has been completed this coming spring, survival stake rows will be installed with exams taking place in year one, three and five.

Miscellaneous comments:       The small amount of planting that the two offices did this past spring gave an indication that completing the planting next spring with Forest and BLM staff won’t be easy due to the physical demands of the work.  The two project leaders will be ensuring that enough competent staff, both in experience and physical ability, are available, and will also ensure that enough days are set aside to ensure high quality planting takes place.