Alice, Maggie, & Rob Keefe
Alice, Maggie, and Rob Keefe live together in Potlatch, Idaho. Together, they study fire from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Maggie Keefe is a self-taught watercolor artist in Potlatch, Idaho. Her art is inspired by local landscapes.
Rob Keefe is an Associate Professor in the College of Natural Resources and Director of the University of Idaho Experimental Forest (UIEF). Alice is 9 years old. When she’s not doing art with her mom in her studio, she likes to play with her 11 month-old goats (Coconut and Cream), make meals for her chickens (Buffy, Suns, Peach, and Spot), compose music, and go hiking, biking, and skiing in the forest.
Maggie Keefe's "Upper Hatter Rx" watercolor
Maggie Keefe's "West of Cabin Rx" watercolor
The painting Upper Hatter Rx shows a prescribed burn on the West Hatter Unit of the University of Idaho Experimental Forest in Princeton, Idaho in Fall 2017. Fire was used as a silvicultural tool to prepare the site for regeneration of a new forest stand following harvesting. The burn simulates the effects of stand-replacing fire on the landscape: Fire behavior was aggressive and most woody fuels accumulated over the preceding decades were consumed. Competing vegetation was removed. Following the burn, seedlings were planted in conditions similar to those they would experience following wildfire.
West of Cabin Rx shows the use of low-intensity fire at the Flat Creek Unit of the University of Idaho Experimental Forest in Fall 2019. We burned in the understory midway through the development of a ponderosa pine stand adjacent to the Flat Creek Cabin in Harvard, Idaho. Our objectives were to reduce grass and shrub fuels, reduce accumulated woody debris, kill the lower branches of trees to raise the base height of their crowns, and to increase the chances that firefighters can successfully suppress wildfires that occur on the Experimental Forest in the future. Coupled with managing stand density, prescribed fire is one our most effective tools for reducing wildfire in the Pacific Northwest; these paintings show the use of good fire in forests on the Palouse Range.
Alice Keefe collage
My piece of art is an abstract collage of what wildfire means to my soul. My imagination decided to put its own spin on it. I have gone to the forest before when my dad was doing prescribed burns and seeing the flames for myself disappearing into the air as they burn down the pile inspired my imagination.
more from their perspective
Maggie painting outside
Rob Keefe at work
UIEF night burn
Sammi Schendel-Melen, student staff, responding to 17-acre Basalt Hill lightning ignited wildfire in the University of Idaho Experimental Forest on July 7, 2021.
UIEF Hatter Burn 2021
UIEF East Hatter slash piles 2020
UIEF South Flat RX 2017: large-scale fuel treatment to reduce hazard near Hatter Creek in Princeton, ID on the north side of the mountain.