Moist Mixed Conifer Science-Policy Workshop

The Moist Mixed Conifer Science-Policy Workshop was held in Pendleton Oregon on December 4-5th and brought together scientists, technical specialists, forest collaboratives and policy-makers to discuss management strategies for eastside moist-mixed conifer forests with the following focus:


  • Review the latest research findings on moist mixed-conifer forests, to take advantage of the Pacific Northwest Research Station’s just-completed “Science Synthesis”
  • Determine where the scientific community largely agrees, as well as where there is still significant disagreement or uncertainty, to guide policy and near-term activities related to management of moist mixed-conifer forests.
  • Identify further technical studies or projects that would help fill gaps in the science and help resolve some of the uncertainty or disagreement regarding these forests.

Geographic Scope:  The  Blue Mountain area of eastern Oregon, although the science and policy may be applicable to other moist mixed-conifer forests in Oregon and other western states.

Framing Question:

“Can active management of moist mixed-conifer eastside forests maintain or restore resilience and other ecological values while also helping sustain economic viability of our forest products infrastructure?  If ‘yes’, what management strategies would best meet these goals?”

Additional Resources

Final Agenda

Final Workshop Summary (with survey results)

Final Attendance List

Link to the USFS Draft report: “Revised (2/24/2014) DRAFT —  The ecology and management of moist mixed-conifer forests in eastern Oregon and Washington: a synthesis of the relevant biophysical science and implications for future land management”

***Note from USFS about the report: The manuscript has been reformatted to better fit the requirements for a general technical report.  The sections on wildlife and climate change have been modified based on comments from the Science/Policy workshop.  There also has been work on the Moist Mixed Conifer definition and vegetation tables to better match field unit data.  The document has been submitted in the current format for editing and will likely be available hardcopy by summer 2014.  This is the close to final version- only editorial edits will be made from here on out.


Day 1 Scientific Panel Presentations:

A virtual tour of oregon moist mixed-conifer forests Tom Spies, PNW Research Station and Oregon State University

Scientific Question 1:  What is the landscape and climate context within which moist mixed-conifer forests function?  

The role of climate on moist mixed conifer forests–  Marc Kramer, University of Florida 

The landscape perspective and its implicationsPaul Hessburg, PNW Research Station 

Scientific Question 2:   Looking forward, what does a “properly functioning” moist mixed conifer forest look like?  

Fire ecology and resilience in moist mixed conifer forests–  Penny Morgan, University of Idaho  

Wildlife and moist mixed-conifer forestsPeter Singleton, PNW Research Station 

Scientific Question 3:  How much do today’s moist mixed-conifer forests require treatment to restore them to “proper function”?  What scale and types of treatments will emphasize ecological benefits, including resilience?

Current versus historical conditions  – Andrew Merschel, Oregon State University

Treatments to maximize resilience and other ecological benefitsTheresa Jain, Rocky Mountain Research Station  

Silvicultural innovations in moist mixed conifer forestsDerek Churchill, University of Washington