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Russell T. Graham

Outdoor Wheeling

Research Forester

Address: 
1221 South Main
Moscow, ID 83843
Phone: 
208-883-2325
Contact Russell T. Graham

Current Research

My principle research involves understanding long-term forest productivity and landscape processes. My research studies include understanding the interaction of forest composition, structure, and disturbances of both dry (e.g., ponderosa pine) and moist forests (cedar/hemlock), determining fuel treatment efficacy for decreasing wildfire intensity and burn severity for cold (e.g., lodgepole), moist, and dry forests of the Rocky Mountains applicable from sites (stand) to landscapes, and determining the relations among snowshoe hare use, lynx presence, and forest composition and structure in cooperation with John Squires (RMRS). My research studies examine fuel treatment effectiveness during the Cascade Wildfires of central Idaho-2007: a 100-year fire event. I am also involved with research determining the relations among goshawk nest success, goshawk use (e.g., foraging), and forest structure and composition in cooperation with Rich Reynolds (RMRS) and Ron Rodriguez (R4).

Research Interests

Forests are dynamic and living constructs disturbed by a wide variety of native and introduced disturbances (e.g., fire, weather, insects, diseases) that result in highly heterogonous vegetative mosaics dispersed across an infinite number of biophysical settings. These forests also provide many goods and services that people of the world often depend on and cherish. As such my research interests are to produce understanding to this complexity and develop and package treatment alternatives (silvicultural systems) that can be used to sustain forests in the face of climate change while provide for the values that society demand.

Past Research

My research embraces the theoretical, methodological, and holistic attributes of forest management. I have integrated and synthesized disparate studies and assessments covering a wide number of disciplines including silviculture, forest ecology, soil organic materials, and wildfire to name a few into systems and provided understanding that is useful to land management actions, policies, and/or laws locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The breadth of my work is not limited to one forest type or locale but transcends the dry (e.g., ponderosa pine), moist (e.g., western hemlock) and cold (e.g., boreal-subalpine fir) forests located throughout western North America. My innovative ways of characterizing dynamic forest landscapes and uniquely relating them to northern goshawk habitat are widely used throughout the western United States, Western Europe, and western Canada to inform forest management. I lead the Interior Columbia Basin Science Team in completing the largest natural resource assessment of this detail ever attempted in the World. I went on to lead the Utah goshawk, Hayman Fire, Warm Lake Fire, Fourmile Canyon Fire, and Black Hills goshawk assessments and a national team that synthesized the science applicable to treating forest fuels. I led the development of the coarse woody debris (CWD) recommendations that used ectomycorrhizae as a bio-indicator and integrated microbiology, decomposition, biophysical setting, and forest development to provide recommended amounts of CWD to maintain forest productivity after disturbance for forests extending from Mexico through southern British Colombia and Alberta, Canada. I have encouraged the field of silviculture, which tends to be timber management centric, to explore new areas and provide silvicultural solutions for a wide variety of management objectives. In particular, I refined the concept of irregular (free) selection. These systems maintain high forest cover and heterogeneous forest conditions that are relevant to many contemporary forest management issues such as Canadian lynx, northern goshawks, old-growth, and sense-of-place.

Why This Research is Important

Water, wildlife, fiber, sense-of-place, home sites, and many other forest values are important to US and World citizens. Wildfire is a common threat to both property and life and costs billions of dollars each year. The results and impacts of this line of research will have local to international relevance in providing knowledge to inform management decisions and policy actions that influence forest sustainability and the inherent values forests contain. The establishment and development of forests are long-term propositions and providing suggestions as to how they will develop along with disclosing the risks and uncertainties of their development is valuable to both present and future generations.

Education

  • University of Montana, Missoula, B.S., Silviculture, 1972
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, M.S., Silviculture, 1977
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Ph.D., Silviculture, 1981
  • Professional Experience

    Research Forester, Intermountain and now Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1975 to present

    Forester, Bitterroot National Forest, Darby, Montana
    1972 to 1975

    Professional Organizations

    • Forest History Society, Full Member ( 2003 to present )
    • National Smokejumper Association, Full Member ( 2000 to present )
    • Soil Science Society of America, Full Member ( 1984 to present )
    • University of Idaho, Adjunct Faculty ( 1979 to present )
      I give frequent lectures, field trips, and laboratory exercises in silviculture, assessments, interaction of science, policy, management, planning, and related classes. Serve on Masters and PhD committees
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Full Member ( 1970 to present )
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Co-Chair Program ( 2012 )
      Program Co-Chair National Society of American Foresters meeting Spokane, WA.
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Chair ( 2004 to 2006 )
      Inland Empire Society of American Foresters Chair Elect, Chairman, and Past Chair.
    • Northwest Scientific Association, Full Member ( 1976 to 2004 )
    • Michigan Technological University, Adjunct Faculty ( 1984 to 1994 )
      I give frequent lectures, field trips, and laboratory exercises in silviculture, assessments, interaction of science, policy, management, planning, and related classes. Serve on Masters and PhD committees.
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Chair ( 1981 to 1982 )
      Chairman, Palouse Chapter Society of American Foresters

    Awards

    Society of American Foresters Award in Forest Science, 2011
    The Society of American Foresters Award in Forest Science recognizes distinguished individual research in any branch of the quantitative, managerial, and/or social sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry.
    University of Idaho College of Natural Resources Honor Alumni Award., 2010
    This award is given to an alumnus who has a distinguished career in natural resources and is known regionally, nationally, and internationally for their work.
    Wings Across Americas, 2006 Conservation Award., 2006
    The Research and Management Partnership award, Ecology and Management of the Northern Goshawk in the American Southwest
    Elected Fellow in the Society of American Foresters., 2006
    Society of American Foresters honors those members who have provided outstanding contributions to the Society and to the forestry profession with the title of Fellow
    National Certificate of Merit, 2003
    Recognition of my role in the Healthy Forests Initiative during 2002-2003. In particular this award was given for my dedication and ability to operate on tight timeframes in a complex environment that made major contributions to the initiative.
    Chief's Stewardship Award, 1991
    Iin recognition of outstanding stewardship accomplishments leading to the conservation of the soil, water, and air resources. Organics Research Team of the Intermountain Research Station, presented by Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson.
    National Silviculture Award, 1991
    National award from National Forest Systems for outstanding research contributions to timber management.
    International, 1988
    Outstanding contributions to, Simposo Cientifico Norteamerico, North American Science Symposium, Guadalajara, Mexico, presented by Hague Vaughan, Environment Canada, Denver Burns, U.S. Forest Service, and Ing. Jorge L., Mexico Environment.

    Featured Publications

    Publications

    Graham, Russell T.; Asherin, Lance A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Baggett, Scott; Battaglia, Mike A., 2019. Differing ponderosa pine forest structures, their growth and yield, and mountain pine beetle impacts: Growing stock levels in the Black Hills
    Holbrook, Joseph D.; Squires, John R.; Bollenbacher, Barry; Graham, Russell T.; Olson, Lucretia E.; Hanvey, Gary; Jackson, Scott; Lawrence, Rick L., 2018. Spatio-temporal responses of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) to silvicultural treatments in the Northern Rockies, U.S.
    Graham, Russell T.; Asherin, Lance A.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Mata, Stephen A., 2016. Mountain pine beetles: A century of knowledge, control attempts, and impacts central to the Black Hills
    Tinkham, Wade T.; Denner, Robert J.; Graham, Russell T., 2015. Climate, snowpack, and streamflow of Priest River Experimental Forest, revisited
    Graham, Russell T.; Bayard de Volo, Shelley; Reynolds, Richard T., 2015. Northern goshawk and its prey in the Black Hills: Habitat assessment
    Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2014. A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States: Inventory and model-based economic analysis of mechanical fuel treatments
    Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2014. A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States: Mechanical, chemical, and biological fuel treatment methods
    Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2014. A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States: Monitoring
    Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2014. A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States: Prescribed fire
    Ross-Davis, Amy; Stewart, Jane E.; Hanna, John W.; Shaw, John D.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Denner, Robert J.; Graham, Russell T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Kim, Mee-Sook; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2014. Forest soil microbial communities: Using metagenomic approaches to survey permanent plots
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Kathy L.; Denner, Robert J.; Hardy, Colin C., 2014. One-hundred years of wildfire research: A legacy of the Priest River, Deception Creek, and Boise Basin Experimental Forests of Idaho [Chapter 21]
    Miller, Sue; Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2014. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Revisiting disturbance: A new guide for keeping dry mixed conifer forests healthy through fuel management
    Jain, Terrie B.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2012. A comprehensive guide to fuel management practices for dry mixed conifer forests in the northwestern United States
    Jain, Terrie B.; Pilliod, David S.; Graham, Russell T.; Lentile, Leigh B.; Sandquist, Jonathan, 2012. Index for characterizing post-fire soil environments in temperate coniferous forests
    Reynolds, Richard T.; Boyce, Douglas A.; Graham, Russell T., 2012. Ponderosa pine forest structure and northern goshawk reproduction: Response to Beier et al
    Peterson, David L.; Agee, James K.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Dykstra, Dennis P.; Graham, Russell T.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Pilliod, David S.; Potts, Donald F.; Powers, Robert F.; Stuart, John D., 2009. Effects of timber harvest following wildfire in western North America
    Jain, Terrie B.; Gould, William A.; Graham, Russell T.; Pilliod, David S.; Lentile, Leigh B.; Gonzalez, Grizelle, 2008. A soil burn severity index for understanding soil-fire relations in tropical forests
    Jain, Terrie B.; Gould, William A.; Graham, Russell T.; Pilliod, David S.; Lentile, Leigh B.; Gonzalez, Grizelle, 2008. A soil burn severity index for understanding soil-fire relations in tropical forests [Chinese version]
    Dumm, Gabriel; Fins, Lauren; Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 2008. Distribution of fine roots of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir in a central Idaho forest
    Reynolds, Richard T.; Graham, Russell T.; Boyce, Douglas A. Jr., 2008. Northern goshawk habitat: an intersection of science, management, and conservation
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T.; Sandquist, Jonathan; Butler, Matthew; Brockus, Karen; Frigard, Daniel; Cobb, David; Sup-Han, Han; Halbrook, Jeff; Denner, Robert; Evans, Jeffrey S., 2008. Restoration of northern Rocky Mountain moist forests: Integrating fuel treatments from the site to the landscape
    Boyce, Douglas A. Jr.; Reynolds, Richard T.; Graham, Russell T., 2006. Goshawk status and management: What do we know, what have we done, where are we going?
    Halbrook, Jeff; Han, Han-Sup; Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Denner, Robert, 2006. Mastication: A fuel reduction and site preparation alternative
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T.; Pilliod, David S., 2006. The relation between forest structure and soil burn severity
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 2005. Ponderosa pine ecosystems
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T., 2005. Restoring dry and moist forests of the inland northwestern U.S.
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Cannon, Phil, 2005. Stand establishment and tending in the Inland Northwest
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 2004. Boise Basin Experimental Forest (Idaho)
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 2004. Deception Creek Experimental Forest (Idaho)
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 2004. Priest River Experimental Forest (Idaho)
    Lhotka, John M.; Zaczek, James J.; Graham, Russell T., 2004. The Influence of Soil Scarification on Oak Reproduction: Review and Management Considerations
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T.; Pilliod, David S., 2004. Tongue-tied: Confused meanings for common fire terminology can lead to fuels mismanagement
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T.; Morgan, Penelope, 2004. Western white pine growth relative to forest openings
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T., 2003. Fire severity classification: Uses and abuses
    Guldin, James M.; Cawrse, David; Graham, Russell T.; Hemstrom, Miles; Joyce, Linda A.; Kessler, Steve; McNair, Ranotta; Peterson, George; Shaw, Charles G.; Stine, Peter; Twery, Mark; Walter, Jeffrey, 2003. Science Consistency Reviews A Primer for Application
    Guldin, James M.; Cawrse, David; Graham, Russell T.; Hemstrom, Miles; Joyce, Linda A.; Kessler, Steve; McNair, Ranotta; Peterson, George; Shaw, Charles G.; Stine, Peter; Twery, Mark; Walter, Jeffrey, 2003. The Science Consistency Review A Tool To Evaluate the Use of Scientific Information in Land Management Decisionmaking
    Graham, Russell T.; Bollenbacher, Barry, 2001. The role of the silviculturist at multiple scales
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Harvey, Alan E., 2000. Fuel: Logs, sticks, needles, duff, and much more
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 1999. An effective and efficient assessment process
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Haynes, Richard A.; Sanders, Jim; Cleaves, David L., 1999. Assessments for ecological stewardship
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Tonn, Jonalea R., 1999. Uneven-aged silviculture in cedar-hemlock-grand fir ecosystems of the northern Rocky Mountains
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B., 1998. Silviculture's role in managing boreal forests
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T.; Adams, David L., 1997. Carbon to organic matter ratios for soils in Rocky Mountain coniferous forests
    Ferguson, Dennis E.; Applegate, Victor J.; Aune, Philip S.; Carlson, Clinton E.; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen; Graham, Russell T.; Jacobsen, Glenn L.; Jain, Terrie B.; Powell, David C.; Shepperd, Wayne D.; Sloan, John P.; Youngblood, Andrew, 1997. Communicating the role of silviculture and Forest Service silviculture research in the interior West
    Jurgensen, M. F.; Harvey, A. E.; Graham, Russell T.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tonn, J. R.; Larsen, M. J.; Jain, Terrie B., 1997. Impacts of timber harvesting on soil organic matter, nitrogen, productivity, and health of inland northwest forests
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Reynolds, Richard T.; Boyce, Douglas A., 1997. The role of fire in sustaining northern goshawk habitat in Rocky Mountain forests
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T., 1996. Deception Creek Experimental Forest
    Jain, Terrie B.; Graham, Russell T., 1996. Priest River Experimental Forest
    Graham, Russell T.; Harvey, A. E.; Jurgensen, M. F.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Tonn, J. R.; Jain, Terrie B., 1995. Response of western larch to site preparation
    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Reynolds, Richard T.; Boyce, Douglas A., 1994. From single species management to ecosystem management, "The goshawk"
    Graham, Russell T.; Harvey, Alan E.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Jain, Terrie B.; Tonn, Jonalea R.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 1994. Managing coarse woody debris in forests of the Rocky Mountains
    Graham, Russell T.; Tonn, Jonalea R.; Jain, Terrie B., 1994. Managing western white pine plantations for multiple resource objectives
    Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Terrie B.; Simmerman, Dennis G., 1994. Short-term effects of prescribed fire in grand fir-white pine-western hemlock slash fuels
    Graham, Russell T.; Tonn, Jonalea R.; Jain, Terrie B.; Adams, David L., 1994. The role of silviculture in ecosystem management: a practice in transition
    Harvey, Alan E.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Larsen, Michael J.; Graham, Russell T., 1987. Decaying organic materials and soil quality in the Inland Northwest: A management opportunity
    A closeup shot of a lynx face
    The management of Canada lynx habitat is an issue that has generated much debate and litigation across the Northern (Montana, Idaho) and Southern (Colorado, Wyoming) Rocky Mountains. This species depends almost exclusively on snowshoe hare for food during winter, and this prey species is sensitive to changes in forest composition and structure. Research conducted by scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, in collaboration with universities and local forest managers, is central in resolving management impasses by learning how changes in forest structure and composition can be implemented in ways that enhance the ability of Canada lynx to produce kittens.  
    Example of a forest structure suitable for northern goshawks and producing high quality timber
    Wildlife habitat and timber production are critical elements of the management of many National Forests. The Black Hills National Forest has provided a thriving timber economy for over 100 years. The forest also provides habitat for the northern goshawk, which has been severely impacted by mountain pine beetles. 
    Young trees act as ladder fuel when they grow under large trees on Back Hills Experimental Forest Service.
    Scientists across four experimental forests (Preist River, Black Hills, Boise Basin, and Deception Creek) worked to provide a suite of ecosystem services from removing fuels to implementing new strategies. Treatment goals were 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.  
    landscape shot of beetle killed forest
    Forest restoration, resilience, and wildfire are major issues of contemporary forest management. Integral to these issues is the destruction, understanding, and management of mountain pine beetles. This is the story of 115 years of mountain pine beetles, associated organisms and the people that study them in the Black Hills. It reads much like a film-noir. This research informs forest policy and management throughout western North America.  
    The research objective is to develop western white pine management strategies focused on regeneration establishment and young forest development by 1) developing canopy opening size thresholds where western white pine can establish and grow, 2) developing alternative tending methods to enable managers to continue to manage western white pine plantations, 3) evaluating plantation resilience to wildfire, and 4) evaluating understory plant diversity under 30-year or older western white pine plantations.