Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest
The Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest was selected because it
is typical of mixed-conifer stands of the Sierra Nevada; specifically those
of high site quality on mid-elevation west slopes in the Sierra Nevada
The Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest was formally created
in December of 1943. This formal designation did not initiate research
at the site. In reality, research had been ongoing by Dunning and others
for some time. The effort to create this Experimental Forest was driven
by Duncan Dunning, who had been pushing for formal designation of a experimental
forest on the Stanislaus since the early 1930's. The Experimental Forest
consists of two tracts. The 80 hectare Headquarters Tract is on the South
Fork of the Stanislaus River. The larger Tuolumne Tract is about 526 hectares
on the lower slopes of Dodge Ridge, just south of the North Fork of the Tuolumne
Early research on the Experimental Forest was focused on the development
of harvesting methods for old-growth stands which would provide for regeneration
of sugar pine, Jeffrey pine and ponderosa pine. Harry Fowells monitored
cone and seed production of pine and fir trees for 28 years. These data were
used in the definitive work on seed and cone production (Fowells and Schubert 1956). Later, Dunning
tested his "unit area control" procedure here. A number of "site factor"
stations were established in the early 1930's to monitor conditions related
to seedling establishment. These data were summarized by Stark (1963).
The Experimental Forest's two tracts (latitude 38° 03' N., longitude
119° 57' W.) lie within Township 4 N., Range 18 E., MDM. The Headquarters
Tract, 1.6 kilometers south of Strawberry, and the Tuolumne Tract, 1.6 kilometers
south of Pinecrest, are 51 road kilometers east of Sonora, Tuolumne County.
Elevations range from 1590 to 1950 meters.
The Forest can be reached via State Route 108, an all weather road.
The road network within the Forest is unpaved except for Crabtree Road
(4N26). None is maintained during the winter to avoid conflict with designated
cross-country ski trails.
The climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters.
Annual precipitation averages 940 millimeters, more than half falling as
snow between December 1 and March 31. Snow, in exceptional winters, may accumulate
to depths over 3 meters. Some drifts persist unitl about May 20. Little
precipitation falls during June through September. Air temperatures during
the year usually range from -23°C to 35°C. Average monthly minimum
and maximum air temperatures range from -7°C and 7°C for January
to 6°C and 27°C for July. The growing season is about 112 days.
The forest cover type of 546 hectares is Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer
(SAF 243), although it can be considered a variant because Douglas-fir
(Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco var. menziesii) is absent and Jeffrey
pine (Pinus jeffreyi Grev. & Balf) is present (Eyre 1980). The Red
Fir Forest Cover Type (SAF 207) covers 61 hectares.
Experimental Forest History (Fowells 1978)
History Addendum (Bega 1982)
Eyre, F.H. ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada.
Washington DC: Society of American Foresters; 148 p.