San Juans 2015

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#1)  San Juans 2015

Postby Chris » Sat May 09, 2015 4:56 pm

All,

I know some of the AF cadre folks are planning on meeting in Durango this coming June to teach some local folks the "new" methods. Do people have plans for some informal exploration in the area? If so, do people have dates?
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#2)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Don » Sat May 09, 2015 10:00 pm

Chris-
I've been a little out of touch on this, but recall that there are a number of returnees from last years Durango meeting that will be returning, and suspect that you'll get a few responses soon...I'd guess that Matt Markworth is probably eyeing GoogleEarth views as we speak, lining up potential tall tree hikes...: > )
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#3)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Matt Markworth » Sun May 10, 2015 12:04 pm

Don,

Wow, you know me pretty well! I've been looking at terrain maps recently and have identified a couple dozen gulches/creeks/canyons/forks/etc that I think are accessible and hold promise. Some of them are just a couple miles from the trailhead, but many of them are many miles away and would require backpacking or mountain climbing for any realistic effort to get to them. I'm using Trimble Outdoors to draw up some routes.

Chris,

I believe the training dates are 6/25 and 6/26 (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the days around those dates should work for informal exploration. Maybe a day trip or two and a 2 - 3 day backpacking trip would work out around those dates.

Matt
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#4)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Matt Markworth » Sun May 10, 2015 8:09 pm

Matt Markworth wrote:Don,

Wow, you know me pretty well! I've been looking at terrain maps recently and have identified a couple dozen gulches/creeks/canyons/forks/etc that I think are accessible and hold promise. Some of them are just a couple miles from the trailhead, but many of them are many miles away and would require backpacking or mountain climbing for any realistic effort to get to them. I'm using Trimble Outdoors to draw up some routes.

Chris,

I believe the training dates are 6/25 and 6/26 (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the days around those dates should work for informal exploration. Maybe a day trip or two and a 2 - 3 day backpacking trip would work out around those dates.

Matt


Edit: mountain biking, not mountain climbing
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#5)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Don » Sun May 10, 2015 10:54 pm

Matt-
I believe that the Durango Workshop is scheduled for the 26th and 27th (Friday and Saturday), unless they've changed of late...
From my recall of the successful recons you guys did last year, it seems like the deeply incised drainages/canyons with greater water catchment were good sites.  Seems like a good bet for trees wanting to survive droughts...and to protect emergent crowns from ridgeline winds/weather extremes.  Any sense of aspect (Southern exposure/solar incidence)?
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#6)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby dbhguru » Mon May 11, 2015 8:39 am

Matt,

 Yes, the dates are 26 and 27.

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#7)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Matt Markworth » Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 pm

Don wrote:Matt-
I believe that the Durango Workshop is scheduled for the 26th and 27th (Friday and Saturday), unless they've changed of late...
From my recall of the successful recons you guys did last year, it seems like the deeply incised drainages/canyons with greater water catchment were good sites.  Seems like a good bet for trees wanting to survive droughts...and to protect emergent crowns from ridgeline winds/weather extremes.  Any sense of aspect (Southern exposure/solar incidence)?
-Don


Don,

I was surprised to find such a significant difference in tree size and species dominance between north-facing and south-facing slopes. Here are two photos taken from the same spot on the Clear Creek Trail, at an approximate elevation of 8,500'.

Many of the tallest trees measured last year were down in the bottom of gulches, but some were in small, open flood plain areas and some others (like the huge Douglas fir) were away from any visible, immediate water supply.

North-facing slope:

               
                       
north-facing slope.JPG
                                               
north-facing slope.JPG (140.25 KiB) Viewed 1901 times
               
               


South-facing slope:

               
                       
south-facing slope.JPG
                                               
south-facing slope.JPG (138.78 KiB) Viewed 1901 times
               
               


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#8)  Re: San Juans 2015

Postby Don » Fri May 15, 2015 2:41 am

Matt-
Ahh, the three dimensions (x, y, z) and how any given point's aspect, elevation, and slope relates to land form (concave valley or drainage, sidehill, or convex hilltop)....there's a lot of permutations there along...add climate change (temporal dimension) over time and the mind can boggle.  I don't really have any answers.
Nor did researchers in the Southwest, specifically the Mogollon Rim of Northern Arixona, understand the forest conditions in the past that led to the flush of forest reproduction (pinyon juniper, mostly ponderosa pine, but mixed conifer forests at higher elevations too).  After much study, not the least of it yielded by dendrochronological advances, the scenario they have pieced together was that the climate changed through conditions that made for warmer, more moist weather that turned out to be a 'perfect storm' for forest reproduction, and in concert with the USFS newly instituted national wildfire suppression policy just after the turn of the 1900's, led to the 'frog-haired' stands of densities exceeding 2000 stems per acre.
Of course now, a century later, every summer residents face the specter of the monsoon season with some of the highest lightning downstrike frequencies anywhere.  With young reproduction serving as ladder fuels for ground fires to ignite taller and taller trees and a drought lasting now for several decades, add the winds that often accompany the monsoons, and you have the makings for a half dozen massive catastrophic fires in the last few decades unlike any that preceded them historically.  
This was Flagstaff's reality, and there is now a lot known of the reference conditions for the Southwest.  Few know more of this than a fellow you might have listened to at last years Durango gathering, Dr. Craig Allen.  There might be some cues in his papers, and their bibliographies...
Me, I'd think that canyons where the slope of the watercourse slackend, let land accumulate, and water accumulate in that land might provide a source of moisture sufficient for vigorous pines/firs to 'weather' the intermittent droughts that have prevailed throughout the area history.  
The GIS tech in me thinks that queries based on the aspect, elevation, slope and riparian zones would be a good place to start...: ~ }
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