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Experimental Forests: Great places to learn about forest science and management

Photo of Location of four experimental forests included in the integrated restoration study.Location of four experimental forests included in the integrated restoration study.Snapshot : Scientists used an experimental forest network to develop different management strategies and make science accessible for managers and other partners.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Jain, Terrie B. Battaglia, Mike A.
Graham, Russell T.  
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1407


Scientists and managers collaborated on a series of forest management studies on four experimental forests within the northern Rocky Mountains. The objectives were to evaluate methods to increase forests resilience to wildfires, windstorms, diseases, and insects. Methods included cutting different sized forest openings and removing fuel around large, old trees. Treatment goals were also to increase the diversity of forest conditions across the landscapes and provide for a variety of ecosystem service, such as wildlife habitat, wild berries, wood for construction, and hunting opportunities. Key Findings: 1. Scientists and managers at Priest River Experimental Forest worked together to learned how to prepare timber sales and planting strategies to foster diverse species and forest conditions. 2. At Black Hills Experimental Forest managers and scientists learned ways to decrease the abundance of fuel under large ponderosa pine and create heterogeneous forest structure, including tree groups and clumps. 3. Scientists and managers worked together on Boise Basin Experimental Forest to develop ways to remove the forest floor so wildfire would not kill large ponderosa pine. 4. In Deception Creek Experimental Forest, scientists identified alternative ways to manage young forests, such as creating patches of thinned trees (daylight), and they worked with managers to develop contract language to implement these innovative methods.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Black Hills National Forest
  • Boise National Forest Service
  • Idaho Panhandle National Forests
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Idaho