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    Author(s): Frederick D. Euphrat; Charles Williams; Judy Rosales
    Date: 2017
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-258. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 413-420
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    During a period of unusually hot, dry weather in 1972, the Creighton Ridge fire burned 4,452 ha (11,000 ac) of forest and intermixed grasslands, as well as many residences on the recently-subdivided 16 ha (40 ac) ranch holdings in the Cazadero – Fort Ross area, north of San Francisco. In response to the fire, local work crews planted and thinned trees from 1981 to 2000 with State of California economic and technical assistance.

    Plantations of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex C. Lawson) and Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri D. Don) were to serve as ‘nurse trees’ allowing ingrowth of shade tolerant Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and redwood (Sequioa sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.). About a million pines, Doulgas-fir and redwood were planted on about 1,214 ha (3,000 ac). Where nurse trees were thinned, the desired forests were achieved. Thinning of these new forests, however, has never been a funded state or landowner priority.

    Now the forests are up to 45 years old and growing vigorously as dense stands. This paper evaluates several hypotheses testable in this new forest. It also reviews the potential benefits of a forest plan to mitigate plantations’ impacts while creating measurable benefits to the people and ecosystems of the affected watersheds.

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    Euphrat, Frederick D.; Williams, Charles; Rosales, Judy. 2017. Plantations as a response to the Creighton Ridge Fire: a landscape experiment in Cazadero, California. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Valachovic, Yana, tech cords. Coast redwood science symposium—2016: Past successes and future direction. Proceedings of a workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-258. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 413-420.

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