USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Programs and Projects


Ecology and Management of Western Forests Influenced by Mediterranean Climate

The mission of this unit is to develop concepts, information and predictive models of the dynamic nature of western forests influenced by Mediterranean climate and to determine effects of management strategies on forest productivity, health, and sustainability. Four Science Teams and the Silviculture Development Unit have been established to accomplish this mission. More Overview.

The Ecology and Management of Western Forests Influenced by Mediterranean Climate with its primarly location in Redding, California is a research program of the Pacific Southwest Research Station, headquartered in Albany, California. The unit and research station are part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

[image]: Research Pictures
Research Teams
Soil Processes and Site Productivity
Management Impacts on Forest Vegetation
Disturbance Processes

Research Support
The silviculture development unit supports the activities at the Redding Laboratory by assisting the implementation of research programs and technology transfer efforts. Implementation includes treatment installation, maintenance, monitoring, and measurement of results. More Siviculture Development Unit.

Experimental Forests
Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest
Stanislaus - Tuolumne Experimental Forest
Swain Mountain Experimental Forest

Research Projects

Fuel Reduction Treatment Longevity Research
With increasing interest in fuels treatments to address the high risk of severe fires in the western United States, there is a pressing need to quantify the effectiveness of such treatments. In addition to the immediate effect of reducing levels of combustible material and the attendant impact on fire intensity, resource managers also need to quantify or forecast the longevity of such treatments. Treatments that produce significant, but short-lived reductions in risk of severe wildfire maynot be meeting the goals and objectives of managers. This project was designed to study the longevity of thinning by looking at the temporal impacts on biomass equations.

Fire in Masticated Fuels Research Project
Mastication is an increasingly popular fuel modification technique involving the use of heavy machinery to shred standing live and dead shrubs and tree saplings into small chunks which are then dispersed on the forest floor as surface fuel. Research is being conducted to evaluate fire behavior when masticated fuels burn, develop custom fuel models for predicting fire behavior and effects, measure soil heating with burning at different soil moisture levels, and understand the vegetation response to mastication over time.

Cone Fire - Lessons for the Future
On September 26, 2002 the Cone fire ignited on the Hat Creek Ranger District of the Lassen National Forest, near the northeast corner of Black’s Mtn. Experimental Forest (BMEF). The fire burned portions of three of the twelve treatment units at BMEF with variable intensities and completely burned the forestland located in between the treatment units. It became apparent after the fire that the long-term study treatments that came into contact with the fire, acted as fuel breaks of varying degrees. From this incident, many lessons and research opportunities were created. Click the link to learn more.

Blacks Mountain Ecological Research Project
The Blacks Mountain experiment is a large-scale project designed to evaluate the effects of stand structure, grazing and prescribed fire on various components of the forest environment. Researchers are studying vegetation response as well as the response of passerine birds, small mammals, bark beetles to the treatments.

Little Horse Peak (Goosenest AMA) Research Project
In the Goosenest Adaptive Management Area on the Klamath National Forest, the combined effects of fire suppression and differential cutting of pine have, over time, resulted in dense stands with a high proportion of white fir. The buildup of fuels including dense white fir understories has caused fire hazard to become so extreme that protection of remaining forest stands with late-successional attributes is virtually impossible. While many wildlife species have taken up residence in white fir infested pine forests, much of the habitat potential has been altered. Silvicultural treatments have the potential to accelerate development of late-successional attributes but the ecosystem responses to these treatments are untested.

Fire & Fire Surrogates Study

Compared to historic conditions, many forests in the U.S. are now more dense and have more down fuels. For years, managers have recognized this problem and have acted to reduce stem density and fuels by thinning, burning, and/or fuel treatments.

Growth and Yield Simulation (CONIFERS)

CONIFERS is a young stand simulator for southern Oregon and northwestern California.

Growth and Yield Simulation (SYSTUM-1)
SYSTUM-1 is a prototype simulator designed to simulate growth of young plantations in northern California and southern Oregon (Ritchie and Powers 1993).
Last Modified: Aug 9, 2010 04:41:41 PM