Monroe Sweetland and the Liberal Paradox
The Andrews Forest
The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is a slice of classic Oregon: due east of Eugene in the Cascade Mountains, it comprises 15,800 acres of the Lookout Creek watershed. The landscape is steep, with hills and deep valleys and cold, fast-running streams. The densely forested landscape includes cedar, hemlock, and moss-draped Douglas fir trees. One of eighty-one USDA experimental forests, the Andrews is administered cooperatively by the US Forest Service, OSU, and the Willamette National Forest. While many Oregonians may think of the Andrews simply as a good place to hike, research on the forest has been internationally acclaimed, has influenced Forest management, and contributed to our understanding of healthy forests.
In A Place for Inquiry, A Place for Wonder, historian William Robbins turns his attention to the long-overlooked Andrews Forest and argues for its importance to environmental science and policy. From its founding in 1948, the experimental forest has been the site of wide-ranging research. Beginning with postwar studies on the conversion of old-growth timber to fast-growing young stands, research at the Andrews shifted in the next few decades to long-term ecosystem investigations that focus on climate, streamflow, water quality, vegetation succession, biogeochemical cycling, and effects of forest management. The Andrews has thus been at the center of a dramatic shift in federal timber practices from industrial, intensive forest management policies to strategies emphasizing biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
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