“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Forests Without Fire

Forests Without Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, July 1, 2011
1. Forests Without Fire Marker
Inscription. Without fires, forests grow dense with trees that compete for nutrients, sunlight and space. Competition and stress leave forests susceptible to disease, insects and fire. Many plants on the forest floor die competing for nutrients adding to the fallen trees and the buildup of burnable “fuels”.

The United States Forest Service performs “prescribed fires to clean up the forest floor and create habitat for wildlife. Small fires are like nature’s broom, sweeping up the buildup of dead plants on the forest floor and cleaning out the insects and disease. As the smoke clears grasses, shrubs and wildflowers are born in the ashes of the newly enriched soil attracting deer, elk and bighorn sheep. Aspen trees are the first trees to spring back after a fire providing homes for many birds and animals.

Tale of Two Forests:
Notice the difference between the types of trees on either side of the highway. Throughout Colorado, altitude, rain, snow and the amount of sunlight determine where each plant grows adapting to the conditions where they best survive.

Ponderosa Pine Forest:
Grow on sun-dried south-facing slopes. Have adapted to surviving small, warm ground fires every 15 years. Have thick bark to protect them from fire. Vulnerable to attack by the mountain pine beetle. Spruce-Fir Forest Grow on cool, damp shady hillsides on north facing slopes. Rarely burn but when they do, fires are hot and burn the tops of the trees. Vulnerable to attack by the spruce budworm.
Location. 38° 54.034′ N, 104° 59.495′ W. Marker is near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. Marker is on Pike's Peak Toll Road. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Crowe Gulch turnout. Marker is in this post office area: Cascade CO 80809, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to America’s Mountain (here, next to this marker); A New Home in the Hills (here, next to this marker); Ute Pass (approx. 0.7 miles away); Well-traveled Water (approx. 2.4 miles away); Test Your Bird I.Q. (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Making of America's Mountain (approx. 2.4 miles away); A Mountain of Many Names (approx. 2.4 miles away); Take a Closer Look...Foothills Life Zone (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colorado Springs.
Categories. Environment

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 10, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 540 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on August 10, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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