CORVALLIS - About 150 forestry experts from 15 nations around the world will attend professional conferences and field tours at Oregon State University from Sept. 15-26 to learn more about the university's innovative programs in "uneven-aged" forestry.
With its variety of tree ages and species, diverse structure, multi-layered canopy and wider variety of plant and animal species, an "uneven-aged" forest can more closely resemble some characteristics of an old growth forest while still allowing for timber harvest, OSU experts say.
More research and wider use of this type of forestry may help address some of the forest management controversies facing the Pacific Northwest and other areas around the world, they say.
"Uneven-aged forestry won't be a panacea for all our problems, but it can be an important option when it's biologically, economically and socially appropriate," said Max Bennett, an OSU forestry Extension assistant. "And at this point there's quite a bit we know about it and can demonstrate."
The global forestry experts are gathering under the auspices of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations, or IUFRO, and the conference was supported by OSU's Sustainable Forestry Partnership.
Participants will attend a conference at OSU, the presentation of more than 100 professional research papers, and a week-long field tour of uneven-aged forestry examples in OSU's McDonald Forest, the Coast Range, Cascade Range, a ponderosa pine forest of Central Oregon, and some experimental forests on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Topics will include economics of uneven-aged management, techniques for partial harvesting, and effects of this type of management on wildlife, biodiversity and plant communities.