Trust Lands HCP OESF Research
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Trust Lands HCP OESF Research 
 

Riparian Monitoring  Riparian Monitoring  Riparian Monitoring  Riparian Monitoring

Interested in Doing Research on Forested State Trust Lands? 
DNR welcomes cooperation with research partners to conduct research and monitoring in the OESF and tries to support external researchers seeking to implement projects on state trust lands in the OESF. We encourage you to contact us about your ideas and proposals. We can work with you to find an appropriate site, secure permits and connect you with the appropriate DNR staff.

Past research and monitoring projects in the OESF
Silviculture and fish research has been conducted on state trust lands on the western Olympic Peninsula since the 1970’s. After the designation of the OESF in 1992, it intensified and broadened to cover forest and wildlife ecology, geology, and riparian management among other topics. The majority of the past research and monitoring activities are listed in the OESF Research and Monitoring Catalog, published by DNR in 2008. See recently completed projects.

Ongoing research and monitoring projects in the OESF
The current focus of the OESF is applied research and monitoring into innovative silviculture techniques, riparian restoration, and wildlife habitat development.

Status and trends monitoring of riparian and aquatic habitat in the OESF

Mind the Gap: Developing ecologically based guidelines for creating gaps in forest thinning on the Olympic Peninsula

  • The goal is to match better silvicultural gap treatments with the late-successional forests they aim to emulate
  • Principal Investigator: Daniel Donato
  • Funding provided by Washington DNR
  • Start date: April 2014
  • Project status: Data collection for Phase 1 (of 3) has been completed
  • Study plan is forthcoming; project summary

Influence of repeated alternative biodiversity thinning treatments on coastal forests

  • The goal is to quantify the effects of alternative pre-commercial thinning treatments and subsequent thinning on stand complexity and growth.  Information gained from this project will inform agency decisions about the value of different treatment options in meeting multiple management objectives under the biodiversity pathway approach.
  • Principal Investigator: Richard Bigley
  • Funding provided by Washington DNR
  • Start date: April 2014
  • Project status: Data collection for Phase 1 (of 2) has been completed
  • Study plan is forthcoming; project summary

Forest structural development following severe windstorm damage on the Olympic Peninsula 

  • The goal is to understand how late-successional forest structure develops from even-aged hemlock stands that are generated by the most common natural disturbance in the region, using a chronosequence approach.
  • Principal Investigators: Robert Van Pelt, Daniel Donato  
  • DNR coordinator: Daniel Donato
  • Funding provided by University of Washington and Washington DNR
  • Start date: May 2009
  • Project status: Six 1921-origin stands have been sampled with permanent plots. Establishment of plots in 2007, 1990s, and 1880s- origin stands is ongoing.
  • Study plan is forthcoming;  establishment report

Experiment in long-term ecosystem productivity

  • The goal is to evaluate the effects of harvesting, woody-debris retention levels, and plant species on tree and soil productivity; soil carbon, nutrients, and structure; and plant species diversity.
  • Principal investigators: Bernard Bormann (Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station), Peter Homann (Western Washington University), Richard Bigley (Washington Department of Natural Resources); Tom Deluca (University of Washington)
  • DNR coordinator: Richard Bigley
  • Resources provided by: , FS PNW Research Station University of Washington and Washington DNR
  • Start date: 1995
  • Project status: Field installations, pre-harvest and postharvest measurements and analyses were completed in 1996-1998; 10-year postharvest measurements and analyses are underway
  • Study plan and project summary 

Climate change, land management, and potential northern spotted owl habitat in coastal Washington

  • Project Goal: With stakeholder input, this project examines trends in socio-ecological values under different climate and management assumptions across all lands in coastal Washington
  • Principal investigators: Jessica Halofsky (PI, University of Washington), Dominique Bachelet (Co-PI, Conservation Biology Institute), David Conklin (Co-PI, )Common Futures, Joshua Halofsky (Co-PI, WA DNR), Miles Hemstrom (Co-PI, Institute for Natural Resources)
  • Resources provided by: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,  Northwest Climate Science Center, WA DNR
  • Start date: 1/15/2013
  • Project status: Complete
  • Final report 

Is DNR’s habitat conservation plan increasing forest complexity?

  • The purpose of this project is two-fold: 1) To examine trends in forest height, canopy cover, and structural complexity across several large, managed landscapes, and 2) To determine if broad-scale trends in the above parameters over time appear to be meeting HCP intent.
  • Principal investigators: Joshua Halofsky (PI, WADNR), Dan Donato (Co-PI, WA DNR), Peter Gould (Co-PI, WA DNR),  Caleb Maki (Co-PI, WA DNR)
  • Resources provided by: WA DNR
  • Start date: 8/1/2014
  • Project status: We are currently creating digital surface models of tree canopies.
  • Project  summary

 

Recently completed research and monitoring projects in the OESF

Literature database on natural disturbance regimes on the western Olympic Peninsula

  • Through this project, DNR’s partner identifies and evaluates existing sources of information on natural disturbance regimes on the western Olympic
  • Peninsula and develops an electronic literature database. 
  • Principal investigators: Steven Wondzell and Peter Bisson (Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station)
  • Duration: April 2010 to May 2011
  • Funding was provided by Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
  • The database is available upon request. See its description here.

Providing long-term hydrological and meteorological data for the Olympic Experimental State Forest  

  • Long-term data on temperature and stream flow from local monitoring stations are made available through a central portal at http://www.fsl.orst.edu/climhy/
  • Project Coordinator: Teodora Minkova (DNR)
  • Duration: Continuous transfer of data; the data transfer process was developed in 2010 and revised in 2012
  • Funding was provided by Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station and DNR
  • Data are updated monthly through an automated process managed by DNR
  • Data from this process have been used in a recently published nationwide study on stream flow responses to climate change and in a synthesis on long-term air temperature trends

 

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