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Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program
Contact Information
  • Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program
  • Southwest Forest Science Complex
  • 2500 South Pine Knoll
  • Flagstaff, AZ 86001-6381
  • Alison Hill 928-556-2105
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Experimental Forests

The program manages several Experimental Forests.

Black Hills Experimental Forest

[image] The Black Hills Experimental Forest is located about 20 miles northwest of Rapid City, South Dakota, and covers about 5.5 square miles in the ponderosa pine cover type near the center of the Black Hills National Forest. The area was designated as a experimental area in 1961. Past studies focused on management of ponderosa pine forests for multiple resource outputs including timber products, forage production for livestock and wildlife, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic values.

Forest Contacts

Battaglia, Mike A    Research Forester    970-498-1286

Boise Basin Experimental Forest

[image] The Boise Basin Experimental Forest lies on the outskirts of the small town of Idaho City, Idaho. It was established in 1933 to study management of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). It consists of 3,540 ha (8,740 acres) and is divided into three units surrounding Idaho City in southern Idaho. Idaho City was a booming mining town in the 1870s and the surrounding forests supplied material to the community. Two units were heavily affected by mining activities and the majority of trees in them now are the results of post-mining regeneration. The third unit, on steeper slopes, has many undisturbed areas (containing large areas of ponderosa pine), including a Research Natural Area.

Forest Contacts

Graham, Russell T    Research Forester    208-883-2325
Jain, T B    Research Forester    208-883-2331

Deception Creek Experimental Forest

[image] Deception Creek Experimental Forest is located in one of the most productive forests of the Rocky Mountains. When the forest was established in 1933, large, old western white pines were important for producing lumber products, matches, and toothpicks. Deception Creek is located in the heart of the western white pine forest type, allowing researchers to focus on the ecology and silviculture of western white pine and its associated species. The forest includes the entire drainage of Deception Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River in northern Idaho. The area encompasses 1,425 ha, with elevations ranging from 850 to 1,402 m. Deception Creek dissects the experimental forest from west to east.

Forest Contacts

Graham, Russell T    Research Forester    208-883-2325
Jain, T B    Research Forester    208-883-2331

Fort Valley Experimental Forest

In the midst of an enormous ponderosa pine forest spreading across northern Arizona and New Mexico is the Fort Valley Experimental Forest that totals about 2,130 noncontiguous ha around Flagstaff, Arizona. The 'Fort Valley' term derives from an open, parklike, bowl-shaped area that was the site of an LDS stockade fort built in 1881. Two excellent springs supply the valley that sits at the base of the southwestern side of the San Francisco Peaks at an altitude of 2,156 m., but the area is also subject to extreme weather.

Forest Contacts

Fowler, James F    Research Ecologist    928-556-2172

Manitou Experimental Forest

The 6,758-ha Manitou Experimental Forest straddles the watershed of Trout Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River, about 48 km northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Manitou Park area contained within the forest was originally the property of Dr. William Bell, an English physician and Colorado pioneer who had established a number of enterprises on the property, including logging, ranching, resort hotels, and a trout farm. He ultimately gave the remainder of his holdings to Colorado College to establish a school of forestry and be used as a forestry field camp. The Manitou was established in 1936 from land donated to the Forest Service after Colorado College closed its forestry school, from surrounding National Forest System land, and from other purchased properties.

Forest Contacts

Oakes, Richard    Forestry Technician    719-687-3034
Ryan, Michael G    Volunteer Research Ecologist    970-498-1012

Priest River Experimental Forest

The Priest River Experimental Forest encompasses 2,590 ha, with elevations ranging from 680 to 1,800 m. Two major east-to-west drainages bisect the forest, resulting in predominantly north- to northwest- and south- to southwest-facing slopes. The 397 ha of the headwaters of Canyon Creek were set aside as the Canyon Creek Research Natural Area in 1937 and an additional 182 ha of the drainage were set aside as the Wellner Cliffs Research Natural Area in 2002. Priest River also contains an arboretum set aside in 1929 to study exotic and native species and an irrigated and animal-protected tree nursery.

Forest Contacts

Denner, Robert J    Forester    208-883-2316
Graham, Russell T    Research Forester    208-883-2325