Elimination of the historic pattern of frequent low-intensity fires in Inland West ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)-fir (Abies spp. and Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests has contributed to major ecological disruptions. Today most stands contain thickets of small trees (often firs) and are experiencing insect and disease epidemics as well as catastrophic wildfires. Restoring sustainable forest conditions is complicated by fuel accumulation, poor tree vigor, and profound changes in stand structure.Existing conditions in many pine-fir forests require selective harvest to: 1) remove sapling and pole size ladder fuels; 2) manipulate species composition to favor ponderosa pine; and 3) reduce overstory density to promote regeneration. Selective harvest allows controlled removal of trees in terms of number, size, species, and location, particularly those that cannot be targeted for removal in a prescribed burn. Selective harvest also allows trees to be used for forest products, often generating enough income to pay for needed restoration treatments.Prescribed fire should be introduced after the initial cutting as a more ecologically based disturbance to promote restoration. Properly applied fire removes undesirable small trees, reduces the fuel hazard accentuated by cutting, stimulates herbaceous and shrubby vegetation, and creates nutrient-rich mineral seedbeds favored for seral species regeneration. Fire should be reapplied periodically to manipulate living and dead biomass, and help maintain healthy, resilient forest conditions. © 1998, Tall Timbers Research, Inc. Abstract reproduced by permission.