The San Dimas Technology and Development
Center (SDTDC) was established in 1945 to standardize fire
At that time the Center—known as the Arcadia Fire
Equipment Development Center—was located in Arcadia, California.
It consolidated all Forest Service fire equipment problem-solving
efforts into a "laboratory sufficient to serve the
fire control requirements of the Western Regions." Southern
California was selected due to the large fire activity
in the area, its evolving industrial and academic centers,
and the availability of space in an existing Los Angeles
County Forest Service facility.
Additional program sponsors brought new work to the Center
and its name was changed to Arcadia Equipment Development
Center. In 1965, a new facility, 13 miles east of Arcadia,
was designed and constructed to house the Center. In conjunction
with the move, the Center's name was changed to the San
Dimas Equipment Development Center. For the past 10 years,
the Center has been known as the San Dimas Technology and
Who We Are
SDTDC is a national program of the Forest Service Engineering
staff in Washington, DC, and serves emerging technological
requirements of the Forest Service and its cooperators.
To support the Technology and Development program's mission
of resource management problem solving, the Center has
a cadre of personnel with far reaching skills. Engineers,
technicians, foresters, draftsmen, writers, and desktop
publishers all work as project team members to support
the problem-solving goals of the Center. Program areas
include fire and aviation, recreation, engineering, watershed,
and timber. The Center's team approach to creative problem
solving has resulted in some unique and innovative projects.
These projects include the development of:
- A "Scenic Byways Roadside Improvement Guidebook" to
help managers develop successful scenic byways.
- The only spark arrester qualification facility in the
- Self-monitoring water treatment systems for remote
- A new series of publications entitled "Water/Road Interaction''
to provide guidance in all aspects of the ways roads
affect the hydrology of forested watersheds.
- Re-engineered chemical toilets that do not smell.
- Bear-proof food lockers for forest campsites.
- Soil hardeners that stabilize trails for universal
- A digital tally meter for estimating timber yields.
- Biological odor control filters.
- The "Plastic Road" for crossing wet sites on soils
of low bearing capacity.
- Qualification testing for fire chemicals, water handling
fire equipment, general purpose and locomotive spark
arresters, and multiposition small engine exhaust systems.
- Field demonstrations of "Mobile Rock Crusher" technology
to determine the capabilities of road reconditioning
- Demonstrations of the "Soil Nail Launcher" to expand
this technology nationally.
- The use of transponders for marking timber boundaries.
- Composting as an alternative method of waste disposal.
- Noise control on National Forest lands.
SDTDC is located on 18 acres in eastern Los Angeles County.
The Center occupies state-of-the-art facilities designed
to support the wildland urban interface and to provide
opportunities to test applications and products under 'real
time' conditions. Office spaces were specially designed
to accommodate the laboratory-to-field transition.