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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

New Book Documents Contributions from Forest Service's Long-Term Research Sites

Photo of Book cover. USDA Forest ServiceBook cover. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : From the role of fire in forests to responses to clearcutting controversies, from the discovery of acid rain to the development of biogeochemical recycling research, Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges have been at the forefront. A new book prepared by a Forest Service scientist tells these and dozens of other stories, each reflecting decades of research and the lessons that come when scientists take the long view, and pass on experiments and wisdom from one generation to the next.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Stout, Susan 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2014
Highlight ID : 653


In 1908, Forest Service Chief Gifford Pinchot scribbled his support on a memorandum from Forest Service researcher Raphael Zon, and the system of USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) was born. This book's 28 chapters document some of the results, including contributions from dozens of EFRs in silviculture, ecology, fire science, social science, biogeochemistry, hydrology, range science, wildlife biology, and more. There are stories that reflect how trends observed in the early years of a research program were confounded or contradicted as the research record extended over decades. There are stories that reflect the interaction between research and societal attitudes, such as the shift from fire protection to fire ecology, or the development of new silvicultural techniques as society rejected clearcutting, or the discovery of acid rain. There are stories that show how long-term data can answer questions not even imagined when a study began, such as the effects of fire exclusion on structure and composition of forests, or the movement of West Nile Virus in the Rocky Mountains from a study that originally focused on Gray Jays as a vector of dwarf mistletoe. And there are chapters on history and futuring, including visions of an urban network of experimental areas to complement and extend the existing network of EFRs.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Anne Hoover, WO S&PF
  • Deborah Hayes, WO R&D
  • Ralph Crawford, NA