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The Dead Indian Plateau: a historical summary of forestry observations and research in a severe southwestern Oregon environment.Author(s): Don Minore
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-072. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 23 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (4.12 MB)
DescriptionThe Dead Indian Plateau is a gently sloping area of 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) east of Ashland, Oregon. It is a valuable source of timber, but timber stands on the plateau often are difficult to regenerate after logging. Many people have been observing and studying these regeneration problems and other aspects of the Dead Indian Plateau for many years. This report is a summary of their observations, measurements, and conclusions.
Resembling a gigantic elevated saucer lying south-southwest of Mount McLoughlin, the Dead Indian Plateau has cold, snowy winters that alternate with hot, dry summers. Nocturnal freezes combine with gentle, often concave topography to produce serious frost damage in many places.
White fir constitutes the dominant tree species on much of the area, but a mixture of conifer species comprises most stands. Plateau forests are uneven aged; shrub density is low, but grasses and forbs are abundant and usually dense. These forests support large populations of rodents and deer.
Economic selection cutting on the plateau was succeeded by clearcutting shortly after World War 11. Most attempts to regenerate these clearcuts were not successful, however, and various partial-cutting techniques have since been used--with varying degrees of success. A two-stage shelterwood system with underplanting seems necessary in most of the stands if the original composition is to be maintained.
Early research involved the pine beetle. Later, mistletoe and heart rot were also studied. Recent plantation trials involved overstory treatments, artificial shading, scarification, herbicides, species and stock trials, frost measurements, irrigation, and rodent caging. Indirect treatment with herbicide removal of the vegetation appears to be the best method for controlling gophers.
Work in progress includes amelioration of soil compaction, genetic studies, species trials, and continued research on gophers. Partial solutions are available for the three problems that seem to be most important in inhibiting regeneration: pocket gophers, frost, and the moisture stress produced by vegetative competition. None of these problems have been completely solved. Continued research and careful observation are appropriate and essential for progress in management on the Dead Indian Plateau.
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CitationMinore, Don. 1978. The Dead Indian Plateau: a historical summary of forestry observations and research in a severe southwestern Oregon environment. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-072. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 23 p.
KeywordsOregon (Dean Indian Plateau), history, regeneration (stand), management (forest)
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