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Title: Necessary work: discovering old forests, new outlooks, and community on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, 1948-2000.

Author: Geier, Max G.

Date: 2007

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-687. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 357 p

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (Andrews Forest) is both an idea and a particular place. It is an experimental landscape, a natural resource, and an ecosystem that has long inspired many people. On the landscape of the Andrews Forest, some of those people built the foundation for a collaborative community that fosters closer communication among the scientists and managers who struggle to understand how that ecosystem functions and to identify optimal management strategies for this and other national forest lands in the Pacific Northwest. People who worked there generated new ideas about forest ecology and related ecosystems. Working together in this place, they generated ideas, developed research proposals, and considered the implications of their work. They functioned as individuals in a science-based community that emerged and evolved over time. Individuals acted in a confluence of personalities, personal choices, and power relations. In the context of this unique landscape and serendipitous opportunities, those people created an exceptionally potent learning environment for science and management. Science, in this context, was largely a story of personalities, not simply a matter of test tubes, experimental watersheds, or top-down management sponsored by a large federal agency or university. Ideas flowed in a constructed environment that eventually linked people, place, and community with an emerging vision of ecosystem management. Drawing largely on oral history, this book explores the inner workings and structure of that science-based community. Science themes, management issues, specific research programs, the landscape itself, and the people who work there are all indispensable components of a complex web of community, the Andrews group. The first four chapters explore the origins of the Forest Service decision to establish an experimental forest in the west-central Oregon Cascades in 1948 and the people and priorities that transformed that field site into a prominent facility for interdisciplinary research in the coniferous biome of the International Biological Programme in the 1970s. Later chapters explore emerging links between long-term research and interdisciplinary science at the Andrews Forest. Those links shaped the group’s response to concerns about logging in old-growth forests during the 1980s and 1990s. Concluding chapters explore how scientists in the group tried to adapt to new roles as public policy consultants in the 1990s without losing sight of the community values that they considered crucial to their earlier accomplishments.

Keywords: Andrews Forest, LTER, IBP, watersheds, adaptive management

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Geier, Max G. 2007. Necessary work: discovering old forests, new outlooks, and community on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, 1948-2000. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-687. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 357 p

 


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