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.

About Us


The station was founded as the California Forest Experiment Station on July 1, 1926. Accomplishments throughout the corresponding eras below.




  • Persued use of fire for fuel reduction in the West.
  • Inventoried and mapped the vegetation of California.


  • Pioneered work on forest genetics and tree breeding.


  • Developed air tankers and fire retardants for firefighting.
  • Developed the rest-rotation grazing system.


  • Developed and tested alternatives to DDT for forest pest management.
  • Identified ozone as cause of Western forest decline.


  • Developed the Incident Command System for firefighting.
  • Developed electrophoresis (startch gel) genetic methods for forestry use.
  • Greatly increased pine-seed collection and tree-planting survival by designation of seed zones.


  • Provided scientific basis leading to recovery of the California Condor.
  • Investigated ohia decline.
  • Identified atmospheric nitrogen impacts on water quality and western ecosystems.


  • Completed the California Spotted Owl Technical Assessment.
  • Completed the Sacramento Urban Forest Ecosystem Report.
  • Completed the Sierra Nevada Ecoystem Project and a final report published.


  • Developed software for assessing relative merits of alternatives for fighting escaped wildfires.
  • Started research on the cause, impacts, and mitigation of new forest disease -- Sudden Oak Death.