Departmental News

Federal forestlands would benefit from Oregon rules: Guest opinion

Hal Salwasser, FES professor and the former dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, contributed to an Oregonian opinion piece. They argue that managing some of the federal O&C forestlands more like private forestlands, as is supported by Oregon's Reps. Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader, would produce a better set of environmental and economic outcomes than is currently the case.

Climate Change Insurance: Scientists Call on President Obama to Protect Public Forests

Scientists specializing in forest ecosystems and climate change called on President Obama to protect public forests from logging and development in efforts to forestall global warming and compliment the president’s recent proposal for tighter restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Pointing to forests in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Bev Law, a forest carbon scientist at Oregon State University, said that forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change.

Fading beauty: Trees slowly invading Jefferson Park's iconic meadows

Research conducted by Oregon State University and published in the journal Landscape Ecology says Jefferson Park’s iconic meadows are being invaded by an increasing number of trees.Warming temperatures and decreasing snowpack in the Cascade Range have provided better growing conditions for mountain hemlock, said FES researcher Harold Zald, the lead author of the study — a local example of climate change’s impact.

Matsutake Season Under Way In Oregon Forests

Mushroom gatherers set out in Oregon forests Tuesday for the first day of Matsutake season.  FES assistant professor Dan Luoma's specialty is Forest Mycology. And when it comes to the Matsutake, he’s a fan.  “Its flavor has been described as a cross between cinnamon red hots and dirty socks.  That doesn’t necessarily sound all that appealing, but it’s just a unique flavor and aroma profile that myself and many, many other people find really appealing,” said Luoma.

September newsletter now available

The September 2013 issue of the FES newsletter is now available!  Read about what FES faculty have been up to, including recent publications, and get introduced to some new employees.

Related Documents: 

USDA awards grant to OSU to study forest mortality

Oregon State University announced it has received a five-year, $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate increasing impacts of drought, insect attacks and fires on forests in the West, and to project how the influence of climate change may affect forest die-offs in the future.  FES professor Beverly Law is one of the lead investigators on this project.

Yellowstone wolves boost berry diet for grizzlies, study says

In another example of how the return of a top predator can have far-reaching ecological effects, researchers have found that the reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park has boosted an important food source for the threatened grizzly bear. “The grizzly bear uses some of the same plants that the prey of the wolf uses,” said William Ripple, an Oregon State University professor of forest ecosystems and lead author of the study.

West Could Lose Ponderosa Pine Forests

The ponderosa pine forests that remain Rim Country’s biggest draw could fade away as a result of rising temperatures, deepening drought and spreading wildfires, according to a recent study published in Forest Ecology and Management. After a decade, the researchers found virtually no regeneration in the hotter, drier sites, said Erich Dodson, a researcher with the OSU Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society. The study documented only modest regeneration in the higher, wetter sites.

Threshold for Thriving: How much forest management is too much for northern house wrens?

Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society graduate student Kristin Jones is spending six days a week in Oregon’s Coast Range conducting field research on the effects of chemicals on the incubating and brooding behavior of northern house wrens. Specifically, she is studying how herbicides affect vegetation and microclimate and, ultimately, care-giving by female wrens. Previous studies FES researcher Matthew Betts, who heads up the overarching IFM project of which Jones is a part, has turned up some preliminary hints.

Climate change threatens forest survival on drier, low-elevation sites

Predicted increases in temperature and drought in the coming century may make it more difficult for conifers such as ponderosa pine to regenerate after major forest fires on dry, low-elevation sites, in some cases leading to conversion of forests to grass or shrub lands, a report suggests.  "A decade after this fire, there was almost no tree regeneration at lower, drier sites," said Erich Dodson, a researcher with the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.