Between 1925 and 1936, the Fort Valley Experimental Forest (FVEF) scientists initiated a study to examine a series of forest thinning experiments in second growth ponderosa pine stands in Arizona and New Mexico. These early thinning plots furnished much of the early background for the development of methods used in forest management in the Southwest. The plots ranged from 0.1 ac to 5 ac (0.04 ha to 2.02 ha) in size and many of the thinning plots and control plots were remeasured at 2- to 10-year intervals until the 1940s. The first thinning plots in the Southwest, called the White Spar plots, were established in 1925 on the Prescott National Forest. The residual trees on the thinned White Spar plots maintained higher growth rates than the control until the mid 1970s. The results from these early stand thinning experiments led G. A. Pearson, Director of FVEF, and others to largely abandon uniform thinning treatments and adopt the crop-tree thinning method as an improved method for thinning southwestern ponderosa pine stands.