The Forest Service operates two Technology
and Development (T&D) centers aimed
at applying technology and equipment to improve business practices
and at keeping employees safe while working
in a forest environment. The T&D centers are located in San
Dimas, CA, and Missoula, MT.
Their primary purpose is support of Forest Service internal activities;
therefore, they provide
products and services exclusively to Forest Service employees
and cooperating agencies. Currently, T&D projects relate
to fire and aviation management, engineering (facilities, transportation,
environmental), forest management, reforestation, nurseries,
recreation, safety and health, forest health protection, watershed
management, explosives, global positioning systems, posters and
signs, inventory and monitoring and Forest Service uniforms.
Since 1981, the T&D centers have been detached units of
the engineering staff in the Forest Service's Washington Office.
Essentially, they are small professional/technical units with
expertise represented in disciplines such as civil, mechanical,
aerospace, electronic, and logging engineering; and recreation,
forestry, and social science. Equipment specialists, engineering
technicians, and publications and other personnel also provide
technical and administrative support to the T&D centers.
In addition, some project work is accomplished through associate
staff (Forest Service employees on other units), professional
services contracts, and agreements with other agencies.
The T&D Program uses technology to solve resource management
problems having national significance in partnership with other
Federal, State, and international agencies; private industry;
academia; and consultants. The T&D program was born out of
need and has expanded over the years from an emphasis on fire-related
development to incorporate all Forest Service programs. As the
Forest Service changes to incorporate all aspects of its mission
("Caring for the Land and Serving People"), the T&D
Program is prepared to continue the development of necessary
technology, equipment, and information to provide the best scientific
knowledge for making decisions in the management of resources.
The Forest Service Technology and Development (formerly Equipment
Development and Testing) Program began shortly after World War
II. Its mission is:
The systematic application of scientific knowledge to create
new or substantially improved equipment, systems, materials,
processes, techniques, and procedures to meet the objectives
of advanced forest management and utilization.
The centers started with a focus on fire and aviation management.
The southern California center spearheaded an effort to standardize
fire equipment; the western Montana center concentrated on improving
equipment for parachuting firefighters and their cargo onto the
perimeter of wildland fires. In 1961, the decision was made to
broaden the charter of both centers to consider all national
forest problems. In October 1987, the name was changed from "Equipment
Development and Testing" to "Technology and Development
(T&D) Program" because this more accurately described
the mission. As resource management became more complex, the
problems the centers were asked to solve became more diverse,
and solutions were not always equipment-oriented.
In the late 1940's, a small group started development activities
for smokejumper and cargo dropping in the Northern Region, headquartered
in Missoula, Montana. Under this program, regular aircraft patrols were used
to detect fire, and methods were developed to parachute firefighters and
supplies to remote fires. These basic innovations are still in use today.
In 1953--largely because of the Northern Region's success in the use of aircraft
for fighting forest fires--the Missoula Aerial Equipment Development Center
This center's mission was to develop equipment
for air operations throughout the Forest Service. Although
designated primarily for general aerial development work,
the Missoula center was frequently assigned work in other
fields. In 1959, the Missoula center was expanded to include
development for many land management activities in the
||This center was originally established in
1945 at Arcadia, CA, as the Arcadia Fire Equipment Development
Center. The center resulted from the consolidation of all
Forest Service fire equipment problem-solving efforts into
a "laboratory sufficient to serve the fire control requirements
of the Western Regions." The southern California site
was selected because of the frequent fire activity in the
area, the evolving industrial and academic centers, and an
available Forest Service facility in Los Angeles County.
Late in the 1940's, a conference
of Forest Service range management administrators and researchers
recognized that a major effort was needed to adapt or develop
suitable equipment for range seeding and other improvements.
Thus, range became the second "sponsor" of the
program and the center's name was changed to the Arcadia
Equipment Development Center.
In 1965, a new facility (replacing the Arcadia facility
and specifically designed and constructed for the equipment
development activity) was built at San Dimas, CA.
|For information about publications,
||Kristel M. Johnson
Phone: (909) 929-7087
San Dimas Technology and Development Center (SDTDC)
444 East Bonita Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773-3198
Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC)
5785 Hwy 10 W
Missoula, MT 59808