wood river

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Century-old trees near Yellowstone yield clues about human, forest histories

A group participtating in a field trip to the Wood River area of the Shohone Forest in northwestern Wyoming hikes through a stand of trees east of Yellowstone Park where researchers are working to learn more about the natural and human history of the region. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate - click to enlarge)

It's no secret to even casual naturalists that the age of a tree can be determined by counting the rings in its cross-section. But researchers in the greater Yellowstone area are building on that technique and expanding the field of dendrochronology to learn new secrets about how landscapes were affected decades or centuries ago by people, climate and fire. "We're interested in learning as much as we can from the wood, in finding out what stories trees tell," said Marcy Reiser, a dendrochronologist with the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado. Continue Reading →

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