USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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

Interdisciplinary Research on the Goosenest Adaptive Management Area
Little Horse Peak circa 1920

Little Horse Peak 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.

Little Horse Peak circa 1920

1998 stand of white fir

Pre-treatment (1998) stand conditions at the Goosenest AMA have changed dramatically in the years since the area was originally logged earlier in the century. White fir can now be found in abundance. Stand density (stems per acre) has increased.

These ecosystem responses are being studied in an interdisciplinary research project on the Goosenest Ranger District (Klamath National Forest).

The Little Horse Peak Project is located just east of Tennant, in the Goosenest AMA. The Goosenest AMA (193,000 acres)  is one of a network of sites established by the Presidents Northwest Forest Plan .

map of goosenest project

Overall Research Objectives An interdisciplinary team of scientists are determining the extent to which different combinations of silvicultural treatments (especially tree harvesting and prescribed fire) can accelerate development of late-successional forest attributes in mixed stands of ponderosa pine and white fir. The responses of many forest attributes will be evaluated, including vegetation, insects, and wildlife.

  1. Accelerate forest vegetation attributes to late-successional, emphasizing pine tree species, without prescribed fire
  2. Accelerate forest vegetation attributes to late-successional, emphasizing pine tree species, with prescribed fire
  3. Accelerate forest vegetation attributes to late-successional, emphasizing largest tree diameters, without prescribed fire
  4. Provide a comparison against which above management activities can be evaluated = Control (minimal activity)
These 4 treatments will be applied to 20 plots, each 100 acres in size (View Map). All plots have a 100 meter spatial reference grid to assist in analysis of data. The treatments are to be implimented over a four year period (1998 - 2001).

Contact Martin W. Ritchie

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