What tree-rings tell us about historical fire occurrence on the west slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Taos, New Mexico

Lane Johnson, a historical ecologist with Bandelier National Monument and the New Mexico Landscapes Field Station (US Geological Survey), will talk about new tree-ring based fire history records for the Sangre de Cristo mountains east of Taos.

Funded by the Taos Valley Watershed Coalition, a planning group of the Rio Grande Water Fund, the fire ecology project was designed to provide historical baselines of fire-related disturbance in three drainages that provide surface water to the greater Taos area.

Lane will discuss methods for developing the 700-year fire history records using tree-rings, how these records are interpreted by fire ecologists, and why these natural records are valuable for critical decision making related to local and regional fire, forest, and watershed management.