"Densetown" vs. "Stumptown": Scientists use two contrasting forests to ponder Yellowstone NP's future under climate change

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — This is a tale of two forests, Densetown and Stumptown, whose paths diverged after a succession of wildfires. One illustrates the historic resilience of the dense Yellowstone pinelands; the other portends a much sparser future for these forests under climate change.

Seventeen years ago, fire swept through this area north of Jackson Lake and Grand Teton’s glaciered peaks, burning a forest of old-growth lodgepole pines that had towered for more than 200 years. In its aftermath, a new generation of pines sprouted, healthy and dense.

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