In the old-growth temperate rainforests of southeast Alaska, concerns over clearcutting effects on habitat, visual quality, slope stability, and biodiversity have created a demand for the use of other silvicultural systems. The forest vegetation and animal taxa of southeast Alaska appear to be well adapted to frequent, widespread, small-scale disturbance, suggesting that variable-retention harvesting and maintenance of important structural features could sustain desired old-growth conditions in wood producing forests. This hypothesis is tested in the alternatives to clearcutting (ATC) study, which uses experimental and retrospective approaches to evaluate several silvicultural systems for managing old growth western hemlock-Sitka spruce forests.The operational scale, long term experimental study integrates research on stand dynamics, forest health, understory vegetation, wildlife habitat, stream ecology, slope stability, hydrology, economics, visual quality, and social acceptability.
McClellan, Michael H. 2004. Development of silvicultural systems for maintaining old-growth conditions in the temperate rainforest of southeast Alaska. Forest Snow and Landscape Research. 78(1/2): 173-190