FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2009
Olympic Experimental State Forest joins national network of long-term research sites
Agreement puts state forest ‘on the map’ for research
OLYMPIA—Officials from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station and Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the designation of the state trust lands within the Olympic Experimental State Forest (OESF) as participating in the Forest Service’s Experimental Forest and Range Network. The network is a collection of 80 research sites across the country that represent nearly every forest and ecosystem type in the United States and Puerto Rico.
The announcement and signing took place at the joint Forest Service / DNR Region Office in Forks and was attended by key stakeholders, including landowners, tribal and local government representatives and members of staff of Congressman Norm Dicks (WA-6).
“With the added exposure through the Experimental Network, the OESF is poised to live up to its potential — offering opportunities for varied research that help us answer questions and find better ways to simultaneously develop habitat and keep working lands working,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who administers DNR. “Science-based decision making is essential to the sustainability of forested state’s trust lands. Collaborative research will inform both private and public forest land managers.”
With the formal agreement, the 260,000-acre OESF becomes the largest site in the national network, and the only representative of the Olympic Peninsula temperate rainforest ecosystem type recognized globally for its extreme rainfall and growth rates. Forested state trust lands in the OESF will continue to be managed as a working forest that supports innovative research projects that advance forestry and support diverse habitat, healthy waters, and sustainable timber harvesting.
Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range Network
Beginning a century ago, the Forest Service established these experimental forests and ranges to help better understand ecosystem processes and to resolve complex natural resource issues faced by land managers. Recently, the Forest Service linked the sites into a network to facilitate data-sharing and to promote large-scale, collaborative research on a variety of topics such as silviculture, wildfires, invasive species, carbon budget and climate change, among others. Scientific results provide guidance to natural resource managers and policymakers.
“We welcome this opportunity to expand on the work that Forest Service scientists have been doing with Washington DNR, and to bring the vast science capacity of our national Network to bear on the natural resources and ecology of the Olympic Peninsula,” said Bov Eav, Director of the PNW Research Station.
The two agencies have cooperated for over a decade on joint research in both the OESF and Capitol State Forest. Studies have included riparian (streamside) management, silviculture, and wildlife ecology.
The PNW Research Station, which carries out the mission of the network in the northwest, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 425 employees.
State Trust Lands
DNR manages 2.9 million acres of trust lands, providing revenue for specific beneficiaries and many benefits for the public. Revenue from state trust lands helps fund construction of public schools statewide and supports state universities, prisons, and other institutions, along with services in many counties.
Revenue-producing activities on state trust lands include:
- Harvest of timber and other forest products.
- Leasing of agricultural lands including orchards, vineyards, row crops, dryland crops, and grazing lands.
- Mineral leases.
- Leasing of communication sites.
- Leasing of commercial properties.
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