Lead intern to speak on effects of harvesting timber

FORKS — The lead intern on the Long Term Ecosystem Productivity Site at the Olympic State Experimental Forest will present an update on the project during tonight’s edition of Evening Talks at ONRC.

Courtney Bobsin will speak at 7 p.m. in the Hemlock Forest Room at the Olympic Natural Resources Center, 1455 S. Forks Ave. Admission is free.

Refreshments will be served, and attendees are encouraged to bring dessert for a potluck.

Bobsin, a master’s degree student from the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Science, is the lead intern for the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the site near Sappho.

Principal investigators on this long-term project are ONRC Director Bernard Bormann, Richard Bigley of DNR and representatives of Oregon State, the University of Oregon, Western Washington University and the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station.

This 200-year experiment evaluates the effects of harvesting timber in the area, woody-debris retention levels and the effects of various plant species on tree and soil productivity.

This process includes analysis of soil carbon, nutrients and structures as well as a survey in plant species diversity.

Bobsin’s primary focus is with the understory species. The overall forest dynamics are altered by the presence or absence of an understory layer.

This long-term study will help answer questions on overall forest dynamics and the role the understory plays in early seral, late seral and Douglas fir forests.

The Long Term Ecosystems Productivity Site project was started in 1995 with funding provided by Forest Service, EPA, state Department of Natural Resources, National Science Foundation and various universities.

This study is replicated in four experimental sites across the Pacific Northwest: Willamette National Forest, Siskiyou National Forest, Siuslaw National Forest and the Olympic Experimental State Forest.

The experiment is ongoing and continually seeks scientists interested in using the sites to answer research questions.

Long-term ecosystem productivity is determined by the cumulative interaction of soil, biota, climate, natural disturbance and human activity.

Within this large and long study are specific objectives, hypotheses and designs developed in specific zones that will provide input to the various local communities over time.

Evening Talks at ONRC is funded through the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community.

For more information, contact Frank Hanson at 360-374-4556 or fsh2@uw.edu.

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