USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

Land and Ecosystem Management


Timbered Rock Reforestation, Stand Development, and Fuels Study: Vegetation Dynamics and Fire Hazard in Experimental Mixed-species Restoration Plantings in Southwestern Oregon


Issue: Scientific evaluation is needed of compatibilities among management activities to meet ecosystem restoration and fire risk objectives

Recent large-scale fire events exceed in size and severity the historical fire regime for many areas of the western United States. Postfire restoration objectives frequently include the rapid reestablishment of forest vegetative communities including trees to reduce soil erosion, to promote habitat development, or to enhance productivity. A concurrent objective may be to mitigate future fire risk by managing fuels. Through its influence on the developmental trajectory of vegetation composition and structure, restoration management will directly affect the development of fuels profiles and fire risk.


Research: Evaluation of postwildfire reforestation treatments to regulate vegetation composition and structure, and fuels and fire risk.

A replicated field experiment is being conducted to evaluate a variety of reforestation prescriptions representing a range of restoration management objectives and intensities. Experimental factors include natural versus planted regeneration, species composition of planted conifers, planting density, control of competing vegetation and planting site environment. Monitored responses include temporal dynamics of composition, size, and abundance of bryophyte, herbaceous, shruband tree vegetation; duff, litter and coarse wood dynamics; and residual overstory growth and snag recruitment. Observed fuels profiles are being assessed by modeling fire intensity and rate of spread under different weather scenarios.


Location: Timbered Rock Fire, Elk Creek Watershed, Jackson County, Oregon

The 2002 Timbered Rock fire burned 27,000 acres of high- and low-elevation forests of intermixed federal and private ownership about 20 miles northeast of Medford, Oregon. The Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands are primarily managed for late-successional and old-growth habitats. Private lands are managed for timber production. The study is focused on areas burned at moderate and high severity.


Duration: Initial phase 2004-2008; Long-term monitoring through 2025

Early Observations:

Principal Investigator: Paul D. Anderson, PNW Research Station

Resource Management and Productivity Program, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331 Email: Tel: 541.758.7786


Partners: USDI Bureau of Land Management; Oregon State University

John Bergin, USDI Bureau of Land Management, Medford, Oregon

Klaus Puettmann, Professor, Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University


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US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Tuesday,17June2014 at15:05:09CDT

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