A Message From
the Station Director
EXPERTISE, dedication, and partnership: these are key elements
to success within the Pacific Northwest Research Station. Fostering
these elements enables the station to generate timely scientific
information for land managers and policymakers to use for decisions
about managing natural resources.
In 2011, several projects examined ecosystem processes across large landscapes. The Integrated Landscape Assessment Project, for example, developed models for assessing wildlife habitat, fire risk, vegetation, development, and likely effects of climate change across watersheds in
Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico. These models are helping public and private land managers prioritize management efforts.
Another project examined changes in old forests in the 15 years since the Northwest Forest Plan went into effect. By products of this effort have given forest managers rare, seamless information that spans ownerships, allowing owners to consider
how their management decisions fit into the broader landscape.
As we tackle questions at large scales of analysis, our partnerships with other agencies, nongovernmental organizations, tribes, and universities grow in importance. Together we leverage our expertise to address relevant questions, provide information to long-time stakeholders, and become acquainted
with new stakeholders.
This year we made significant progress toward improving the physical spaces that will enable research and partnerships to flourish. In Oregon, construction is well underway on the new wing
of the Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory located on the Oregon State University campus. This energy-efficient building will provide shared laboratory and office space for scientists and support staff from the station, the Siuslaw
National Forest, and the Natural Resource Information System group.
Construction began in August on the new Juneau Forestry Science Laboratory on land adjacent to the University of Alaska Southeast. Like the Corvallis Laboratory, this facility is
being constructed to meet or exceed the Leadership in Energy and Environment silver certificate requirements. The energy efficiencies will mean lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint. Proximity to the campus, which is also home of
the station-sponsored Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, will facilitate collaborative research.
The station remains a key supporter of the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, which was started in 2009 as a collaborative effort to expand and enhance education and research opportunities
among six partners. It now has 14 partners, including the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the City of Juneau, British Columbia Ministry of Forestry, U.S. federal agencies, and
nongovernmental organizations. The center is becoming a research hub; in 2012 it will host the international symposium “Coastal Temperate Rainforests: Integrating
Communities, Climate Science, and Resource Management.”
The station continues to improve its service to underserved communities. Station scientists worked with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe in Washington state to develop new elk habitat
models. Elk are an important cultural resource for the tribe. Scientists and partners are also mapping public land use by the Hispanic community in Washington. This project arose after a Hispanic
man harvesting floral greens in a forest was accidentally shot by a hunter. The maps will be used to generate dialog with state and federal agencies about harvester safety.
In 2012, new projects will include a study of the forest dynamics after thinning and fuel reduction at Pringle Falls Experimental Forest. This experiment has been designed to test which
fuel treatments best accelerate development of large trees while reintroducing natural disturbance processes that provide ecosystem resilience. Another question considers the interactions
between climate change and fuel treatments on vegetation dynamics and forest structure. These are timely questions—answers to which will surely provide insight to management issues across dry
forests of the West.
Thank you to station partners and employees for a productive year, and I look forward to our work together in 2012.
Station Director Bov B. Eav