Forests, fire histories, and futures of Columbian and Rocky Mountain forests, western Canada
Courtney Mustaphi, Colin
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Throughout the past few decades, shifting perspectives on fire management have led to the recognition that disturbance by fire is critical in maintaining ecological resilience in fire-adapted forests and grasslands. Long-term fire histories provide important information for land and resource managers seeking to understand the controls on wildfire dynamicsin western North America. In this paper we summarize fire history research that has recently been undertaken in the Canadian Cordillera. Using proxy records to reconstruct fire activity and vegetation change, these studies shared the overarching goal of identifying factors that control long-term fire regimes.A further aim was to identify how human activity has measurably altered various aspects of fire regimes. Looking to the future, these studies highlight the need to continue integrating information about local fire regimes and historical land-use activities when developing responsible fire and resource management strategies and identifying conservation priorities.