H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Long-Term Ecological Research Network Office
Data Center Description
The Andrews Forest is situated in the western Cascade Range of Oregon in the 15,800-acre (6400-ha) drainage basin of Lookout Creek, a tributary of Blue River and the McKenzie River. Elevation ranges from 1350 feet (410 m) to 5340 feet (1630 m). Broadly representative of the rugged mountainous landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the Andrews Forest contains excellent examples of the region's conifer forests and associated wildlife and stream ecosystems.
Several distinctive aspects of the Andrews Forest environment and research program have placed it center stage in the science and politics of natural resource management in the region. Basic watershed research in the Pacific Northwest has its roots in small watershed experiments involving forestry treatments initiated in the 1950s. The Forest contains extensive examples of old-growth (500 year old) forests which were subject of intensive basic research beginning in the 1970s. The original work on northern spotted owl and its relations with forest habitat was conducted at the Andrews in the 1970s, setting the stage for extensive monitoring studies that continue. Studies of carbon cycling over the past two decades have revealed the exceptional properties of Pacific Northwest forests at the scale of a single tree to the regional scale in terms of carbon sequestration. The Andrews Experimental Forest serves as a science benchmark for each of these themes and thus has been examined in terms of its regional context and representativeness.
The Andrews Forest is administered cooperatively by the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station (USFS Research), Oregon State University (OSU) and the Willamette National Forest. Funding for the research program comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and other sources. The Andrews Forest is one of the 24 major ecosystem research sites in the United States funded through NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program.
The National Science Foundation-sponsored LTER Program provides relatively stable (6 year funding cycle) support to the basic science program at the Andrews Forest, and a mechanism for integration across the larger Andrews research program. Over 50 scientists and 30 graduate students from Oregon State University, the PNW Station, and other cooperating institutions are involved with the Andrews LTER program.