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H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Site Visit Group Oral History Interview - Part 4, September 22, 1997

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[laughter, long pause]

Max Geier: Well, the one thing that I wanted to see if we could cover here, before we head back down is, um, for those of you I didn't ask the question about it yet, um, if you're thinking about, uh, kind of unique places on the Andrews you like to go when you're looking for a chance to get away, or some kind of rejuvenation, what kinds of places do you go? [pause] What's your favorite spot on the Andrews is really what I'm asking.

Al McKee: Well, this would be one of them for me. The other one would be the McRae Creek gorge. Getting into that, getting in below the waterfall in that, and just sitting there. It's still pretty intact. You can't see the clearcuts from there, and the water makes a wonderful sound. [pause]

Al Levno: Up at the end of the McRae Creek Ridge, down below on the road down there, you go back in there and there's a kind of a little waterfall, that falls about 15 feet, and it's just a little stream, a little trickle down there in the late summertime. Little pools in there, and when it's really hot in the Andrews, 85, 90 degrees, it's about 70 degrees right in there.

Geier: Huh.

Levno: Nice place to take a dip. [laughter] I don't know if anybody else knows about that or not. [laughter]

Jerry Franklin: Well, I really like it out in the middle of Watershed Number One [loud laughter]. I don't find anything any more stimulating than that. [laughter]

McKee: Especially getting out of there, do you mean? [laughter]

Ted Dyrness: Well, it started out, it used to be.

McKee: It did?

Dyrness: Yeah, that slash burning made it really hot out there, I'll tell you.

Franklin: Actually, one of my favorite places, other than Carpenter, is, has always been the middle part of Watershed Two. I always liked walking up the Watershed Two trail.

Dyrness: Yeah. That's something.

McKee: Yeah. That's a good one. So did you help lay that one out, Jerry?

Franklin: I laid that one out. I had to lay it out three times, before Jack said it was okay.

Dyrness: I didn't know that. You laid it out, huh?

Franklin: I laid out the trails in Watershed Two. You bet.

Dyrness: Upper and lower, and?

Franklin: Snaking down, yep. There was that lower part, had to do it 3 times before

Dyrness: Before you got the switchbacks right, huh? [laughter]

Franklin: Before I got it right. [laughter]

Dyrness: Yeah, that's a nice place.

Franklin: I used to come down out of that at the end of the day, and I'd go down to the Lookout Creek gauging station, and I'd dive for cans in the bottom of that pool. [laughter] People'd leave cans in that pool, and so, I took 'em out, one at a time. You know. [laughter]

McKee: That's a good place to swim. One of my favorite swimming spots.

Dyrness: Ah, nothing compared to Lucky Boy swimming hole, though. Boy, that was something.

McKee: Yeah, the water was warm.

Dyrness: Yeah, it was great. [pause]

Silen: I think I just have a general love for the place. That's all. I think the place is something special. [pause]

Bob Tarrant: Kind of tough to get Roy back here, because he didn't want to see the reality of the present, compared to the reality of the past.

Silen: Glorious past, yeah. Well, you've got to remember, it was just continuous forest when I came, all over.

Tarrant: Yeah, yeah. A beautiful spot.

Silen: Just a trail around the ridge tops, that's all. [pause]

Franklin: A sea of timber. It was continuous timber. You know, I loved that. There's very few places you can see that.

Silen: Yeah, I suppose.

Dyrness: Was the trail well maintained, then?

Silen: The trails around, yes, these trails were well maintained. Sure. In fact, it was needed to get up to the Lookouts.

Levno: Well that was, came up from near, you had to come up from the compound. To come up to the Lookout.

Silen: Well, we came in from McKenzie Bridge, uh, from that side. In other words, on the, the uh south slope of, uh,

Levno: Lookout Ridge?

Silen: Lookout Ridge. There was a, a trail that came up into here.

Levno: Oh, is that right? You

Silen: [interrupting] In other words, you had a 4-mile hike to get to Frissell and

McKee: [interrupting] It's a steep climb. There's a lot of switchbacks on that mother, hot, dry. I did in once. [laughter]

Silen: I got a dog named Rusty, got it as a, oh, a pretty well-grown pup, and the first thing I did was to take him up that trail. And that pooped him out. [laughter]

Franklin: Roy, did you ever find the remnants of that old lookout on Lookout Mountain?

Silen: No.

Franklin: Well, it was one of the old-time kinds of lookouts here that didn't have a cabin.

Silen: No, I didn't go up. I wasn't, didn't have any occasion to go up.

Franklin: [interrupting] I found that one time up there. Were you with me Ted?

Dyrness: Uh, on Lookout?

Franklin: Yeah.

Dyrness: Is that before we punched out over above our campsite, down, and

Franklin: It could have been.

Dyrness: Got picked up on the [downside?]

Franklin: Yeah.

Dyrness: Yeah, I vaguely remember that.

Franklin: It's in the book. There is a record of it. You know, there's this Lookouts of the Northwest that has all the [unintelligible interruption]

Geier: So that was down by the time you started working here?

Franklin: Well, it was one of those early lookouts, where they sent somebody up there and they lived in a tent, and they didn't have anything in the way of a regular lookout.

Silen: They had a rangefinder.

Franklin: Probably had a rangefinder. And, you know, I think they found remnants of an old phone, and some old boxes, and stuff like that. Helmets.

McKee: Yeah, yeah. There's some of that still there.

Levno: Is that right?

McKee: Yeah, some of the old battery boxes are still there.

Silen: Is there a good place to see out up there? I never.

McKee: It's not an especially good spot, but uh.

Franklin: It would have been, 40 years ago.

McKee: It might have been before the trees got up to the uh.

Silen: [overlapping, unintelligible], because I can't remember it was a good point.

Franklin: It was actually on the back side of Lookout, just about where it breaks off into the McKenzie [interruption, unintelligible]

Silen: [interrupting] Yeah, and that side might have an open view. [pause] Somewhere in there fairly close, there was a Ponderosa pine.

Franklin: You saw one too? [laughter] God DAMN it! [loud laughter] See, you scoundrel!

McKee: Hey! Hey! I just said it was

Franklin: [interrupting] That's even in a different place than the one I saw.

McKee: I haven't seen one yet here. Other than what's been planted.

Franklin: well, no.

Silen: It's on the way up the trail. You could see it from the trail.

Dyrness: It's on the checklist. It must be here. [loud laughter]

Franklin: I went out a couple of rock, little rock ribs off of the trail, in order to get views down the canyon, and there was a Ponderosa pine on one. Somewhere in there. I've never been able to [laughing] go back to it! [laughter]

Martha Brookes: And nobody will believe you.

Franklin: Well, I was just, they believed me, but Arthur likes to, uh [laughter], you know, he. [laughter]

Roy Silen: Well, I'm glad I confirmed it. Uh.

Franklin: Yeah. It's there. There's actually several lodgepole pine. Quite a few lodgepole pine. Yeah, it's still there.

McKee: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. [long pause, followed by overlapping conversations, unintelligible] I've been up to the top twice, but I haven't been up for [unintelligible, overlapping conversations] You know the rock up there by the gully, the brush-filled gully?

Silen: Yeah.

McKee: I was climbing up there, up there by the ridgetop, and there's an old World War Two, uh, ammo cannister stuck down the rocks, from the top.

Dyrness: No kidding. [long pause]

[sounds of movement, group standing up, discussion about the good weather, unintelligible discussion between MG and FS of whether to continue discussion at a stream site on the drive back down from Carpenter Saddle, arrangement of group for a group photograph by AL, continuing discussion with FS about whether to go to a stream-site location, or to return to the HQ compound site to pick up Mike Kerrick before taking the group to a stream site, discussion of chipmunks with DL, and gathering up materials and photos laid out inside the lookout, discussion with DL about conditions and activities at the Lookout. Noise of hiking down the trail obscures conversations thereafter until group arrives back at the van at Carpenter Saddle]

[recording resumes with conversation in van en-route back to the HQ; road noise obscures most of the conversation on the way down the road]

Brookes: [comments mostly obscured by road noise, discussing early planning for the FSL building as a facility that reflected the hierarchical priorities of the FS - two windows for program leaders, one window for scientists, no windows for technicians and assistants. Also notes how the building was designed to isolate people from each other: No two doorways are directly across the hall from each other, so people sitting in their offices cannot see other people without standing up and going out in the hallway.]

Geier: So do you think that what led to greater synthesis between scientists with OSU and the Forest Service was when the Forest Science Dept moved into the FSL, or was it the IBP?

Tarrant: Oh, I'd say, it really did create opportunities, it created more opportunities then. I guess it depended on the individual, but it created more opportunities. I didn't have to worry about that, quite frankly. [laughter] But I do, I think that there was a synergism that, uh, was there, with Jerry and other people. [unintelligible, road noise]

Geier: You mentioned earlier this is the largest complex of forest research scientists in the world. Is there another site like this anywhere?

Tarrant: Uh, not with an, uh, experimental forest that's dedicated to hydrology. Uh, I guess I'm talking about a combination of education and research. Uh, there's nothing in the, in Europe. [unintelligible, road noise, counter 419-460, fragments of conversations obscured by road noise on the following issues: discussion of plans to go down to the creek near HQ site, discussion of driving conditions, dinner plans, Alaska history status, discussion of how survivors influence collective memories and oral histories, discussion of some earlier scientists].

Tarrant: [Speaking in response to TD's question and observation about why Roy Silen was ordered to move into Genetics and abandon the Andrews-RS rode back down from Carpenter Saddle in AM's car] Yeah, he went back to get, went back to Corvallis to get a Ph.D. He didn't want to do that. He loved what he was doing here, but he was, he might as well have been working for the National Forest System, for what he was doing, with, somebody who was in a position to take that on, do that, and uh, he loved it, and he didn't want to do it, they had to tell him that, no, you'll do it. But there wasn't any place, he was kind of stuck at that point. I think it made a future for him, it was to his advantage. [unintelligible background conversation responding to BT] Yeah, well he was the obvious candidate, Roy's background [road noise obscures discussion] into genetics. So they probably brushed him off and said, we need to develop the genetics [road noise, unintelligible]. Well, when he got through laying the roads out here, uh, over 5 years, defined the sales locations, got a road system in and laid out, and uh, would have been [unintelligible road noise]. So they really saw it as an opportunity. [pause] And of course that story about the checks was true [laughter, unintelligible], and I wouldn't be surprised if someone brought that up: 'Roy, you know, has been out in the woods too much.' Roy, you know, sent in a note to the business office, and they sent him a form to replace all those checks, and he fired it off, and [laughs] boy, that was all over the Station. [laughter] I'll bet they thought, we'll have to get him out of there. [laughter] The way Roy described it earlier, that was about 6 months' pay. He said he didn't really need it, and uh, that's the situation. [unintelligible, road noise] So he came into town and got married, and got into the swing of things, and Roy lived happily every after. [long pause, road noise]. Al, did you ever run this river? Ever run this river in a boat?

Levno: No. [laughs, pause, road noise]

Tarrant: [discussing his drift boat in Grant's Pass and places around Oregon where he went fishing and boating, fish stories, fishing trips with Bill Meehan, and story of Meehan's award winning, posed picture of BT fly-casting with a bear in the background, counter 590-670]

Brookes: [road noise diminishing, discussion of correspondence with Meehan, other issues obscured by road noise]

Tarrant: [discussing appearance of access road into the HQ site] Well, it used to be so simple, you just drove in the road. [road noise, sounds of arrival at HQ site, passengers climbing out of the van, recording ends]

[Tape Break]

[conversations obscured by trail noise as group hikes down to the stream in the vicinity of HQ site, multiple, overlapping conversations in the background]

Tarrant: [discussing decision to sit on log near creek, noise of stream flowing over rocks in background] We'll all lean on that log and roll over in the creek. [laughter]

Brookes: Yeah, it's just going to waste [laughter].

Silen: Well, the other question is, as I remember, we used to figure 30 trees to the acre, and now we're getting pretty close to that.

Mike Kerrick: Yeah, you're right.

Franklin: Mike, where are you living?

Kerrick: Down below Leaberg, you go right by my house, more or less, its over by a little golf course there. [pause, loud noise from tape recorder being repositioned to pick up voices more effectively]

Fred Swanson: It was down in this area, uh, when I first got here in the early '70s, the main flow was over on this side, and a young alder stand was in here. And over the years, this alder stand had grown up, and an example of it would be that toppled alder stem right there, and there are a number of them in here which were toppled and are still partially rooted right here. And, uh, during the flood, Gordon Grant and I came out here, and it was about 8:30 in the morning, and the water level was about 2 feet below the base of that stake over there, no it was that stake back there, with the orange flagging. And uh, the water, that was about 8:30 in the morning. The water came up another couple feet, uh, by the time it crested at noon on that day, 3½ hours later, some old growth forest was taken out and a bunch of post-'64 flood alder was taken out, and these stakes with the pink flagging are cross sections where we're doing long-term measurements.

Kerrick: So you had cross sections prior to the flood?

Swanson: Starting in '78. And so, we were looking at the gradual change, and some big trees had toppled in in about '81, '82, and they've influenced flow, and I think they've helped protect the alder stand until the whole thing moved. Like, there's a big tree up there that had toppled that way, and helped carry the flow in that direction, but the flood waters were up in here, right about at our eye-level, and it swung that around, and then there was tremendous down cutting over here, and this bar continues all the way up against this bank and deposition of boulders until they cut off that channel, but anyway, it was interesting for me to reflect on that, because most of that history, uh, post-dates the time when a number of you were very active, in this area, at least, Roy, because you were around whenever the conditions that predated '64, or whatever they were when they were operative.

Silen: And we had a fisheries person doing work on the fisheries for us here, made a number of seinings, information from that, so anyway that record might still be available for anyone that wants to look at it, from the office of fish and wildlife.

Geier: Maybe we could get started with people talking about what, to them, long-term research would have meant at the time you first started work here. How has that concept evolved over time?

Silen: Yeah, well one of the things I would be looking at [pause], as I remember, there was, figure that we kept that they used for stocking of this area was 30 trees per acre. And, uh, I wonder what it is now, and still, when you look around here you can see quite a few dying trees. And uh, some of your record ought to be to find out what's going on. Do you have that kind of record?

Swanson: Well, we have some records. Do you want to comment on that, the vegetation plots that were put in in, mainly in the mid-70s. Franklin: It worked out, you know, we've got a pretty good set of samples, uh, started with the reference stand in the early '70s, but then when we got the LTER funding, we put in a whole grid of plots into Watershed Two, and then a mature stand in [Hagden?], so, yeah, we've got

Silen: [interrupting] Yeah, we've got enough background, so the question in my mind is, I think you're reaching the stage where a lot of trees are going to disappear.

Swanson: [talking over several other aborted responses] Well, it's been my impression in recent years that we're sort of losing old growth, uh, due to a variety of processes. There was a windstorm in '90, and then there was a bark beetle outbreak, and I think that was responsible for some of the mortality we see up here, and uh, there's scattered little patches all around of the bark beetle related mortality. It just seems like there's something always happening that is sort of knocking the big Doug-firs out.

Silen: I think it would make a tremendous picture to add to what foresters know about this end of the rotation [inaudible, laughter]

Kerrick: Well, when I think of the '50s, I think the primary purpose was to find ways, the most efficient ways, I guess, of converting these old stands to the young, vigorous, young growth. My recollection. And it's kind of interesting, what goes around, comes around. Uh, I remember some of those little bitty units that were located up, up, uh, Mack Creek, or some place up there, were a quarter of an acre, half an acre, I don't know if you guys remember Mike Savelich, the logger?

Levno: Yeah, we were talking about him on the way here.

Kerrick: Huh? Oh, you were talking about him already? Well Mike, of course was a, he, uh, the sale administrator, remember old [Emil Sable?]? Do you remember him?

Silen: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Kerrick: Emil was after Mike, because the contract required him to keep all of the trees within the unit, which was impossible to do on that quarter acre, you know. [laughter] We all got a joke out of that. But you know, the stuff you're doing now, in gaps and that sort of thing, I don't know how that would relate to some of those small units you were doing back then, or if you could even find it. Are there records of those?

Franklin: Yep. Yep. You can find them, and uh, you can evaluate them. They're currently regenerating. [laughter] And you can certainly see some edge influence. There's no question you can see an influence there, adjacent, where. [pause] I've been in ALL of them, I think, the last 3 or 4 years, I think I've practically got all of those. [pause]

Kerrick: There were square ones, and round ones, rectangles.

Franklin: Yeah, there, a quarter and a half, a quarter and a half were round, 1, 2, and 4 were square. You guys kind of cheated on 4, because you put the road through the edge of it. [laughter]

Kerrick: Huh.

Silen: Well, you know, those units were intended to, uh, upgrade our information on natural regeneration, and uh, natural regeneration was used to some extent, kind of [laughing] inadvertently in most cases, but uh, the problem that came was that through the Washington Office rated the performance of the ranger on whether he could regenerate in 5 years or not, and that kind of wiped out any hope for natural regeneration. No way, in 5 years.

Kerrick: To guarantee it. Yeah.

Silen: If he had 10 years, he would get much [pause]

Kerrick: Yeah.

Silen: I don't where the 5 year rule came from, but I don't think the people knew what they were doing.

Kerrick: No, that was probably more economic and for public relations. Yeah.

Silen: Yeah. And, in lots of ways, you're better off to have lots of planting, because those areas are quicker to reach sale.

Geier: [pause] So they were looking at a 5-year regeneration deadline, you were talking about a 10-year regeneration deadline

Silen: [interrupting] No, I didn't have a deadline, because natural regeneration that comes within 20 years is not a sure thing. Lots of times, your, your areas that regenerate with a less stocking will produce a commercial stand quicker, too.

Geier: Did you have any expectations, when you laid out those sales, of how long people would be tracking?

Silen: How long they would be tracked?

Geier: Yeah.

Silen: Oh, I had thought that they would be tracked, uh, through the period of regeneration.

Kerrick: But not 30, 40, 50 years?

Silen: No. And, and with the regeneration path, sure.

Geier: If you had thought they were going to track them that long, would you have done something differently? Do you think?

Silen: Well, I thought we would track them that long. I didn't think that I, I felt that I would have a rather permanent spot here. [pause] I was prepared to do it. [long pause]

Geier: Well, in later years, when you're looking to put in a long term study, when that is your goal, like in the IBP, or LTER, even better, um, what kinds of characteristics do you look for on a site? Which ones seem to have the best applicability? [pause]

Franklin: Well, to answer that very practically, I was interested in Long Term Ecological Research which would fit in the experimental forest, so I had a very, when I got involved in it, I had a very specific geography in mind. And the second element in it was, it had to be, uh, the project had to be one that interested a larger, collective group of people. Uh, you had to have a program that was in fact sufficiently interactive that you could attract an interdisciplinary cadre, and then the third thing was, it had to be, uh, sexy enough to salable to the National Science Foundation. So, it's a matter of optimizing within those [laughing] parameters.

Geier: What kinds of things fit the bill? Uh, in 1962, were there different things that would attract people than, say, in 1975?

Franklin: Well, in 1962, there wasn't any, NSF wasn't going to be attracted to anything. And the only vision of Long Term Ecological Research was, in '62, was probably the vision of the small watershed studies and permanent plots. Probably all it was. And it was probably out of IBP that, uh, a notion of approaches that involved significant experimentation sort of emerged. But

Tarrant: And a number of disciplines.

Franklin: Yeah, right. But, I think, you know, we have to give a lot of credit to Hubbard Brook. I think a lot of, a lot of it started there with a refinement and an expansion of the small watershed idea, and then, in IBP, everybody got into it, but they came at it, initially, through budgets. Because no one had any intelligent questions to ask about ecosystems, so, 'Okay, let's describe them.' And that's certainly the way we started out, but then, we very quickly found very interesting kinds of things about which we could make hypothesis and about which we could experiment. But, uh, it came out of a, you know, a tradition of, which is very much part of the agency [Forest Service] of longer-term efforts, of water efforts and tree efforts, uh, expanded to an ecosystem perspective in IBP, and then really became just, really quite interesting and sophisticated in the post-IBP and LTER period. Then it was just simply a matter of designing a, 3 or 4 or 5 components of the proposal that excited the group and could excite reviewers. And, you know, a good example was the 200-year log decomp[osition] study. 'Oh. That's long term!' [laughter] 'Oh. That's experimental!' [laughter] You know, you've got your factorial design.

Swanson: From a management implications point of view, people go out there and say, 'Wow! These guys really take this stuff seriously.' And so, I think that helped in the, sort of the tech-transfer aspect. [pause]

Franklin: Yeah. Uh [laughs] it's pretty REAL.

Swanson: I was wondering what each of you thought about sort of the science, and management policy, uh, flow of information, and how that's proceeded through time, and what mechanisms have been effective, and which have been challenging? For example, Bob, you worked in alder a lot, and alder had to have its personality changed. [laughs]

Franklin: Yeah, that'd be a HARD SELL! [laughter]

Tarrant: Well, we did pretty good for awhile, until Weyerhauser bought it all up, and there's not much use in worrying about it any more. [laughs] Uh, well, first, you have to have something, of course, to sell. And uh, we did in the case of alder, but uh, I think that the technology transfer, you have to have something to sell, and it has to be something that people can see right away, 'Hey, that's what we've wanted all this time. This is going to do us some good.' And, uh, I think there was more lip-service, maybe, to technology transfer in the Station.

Silen: [interrupting] In genetics, it was very, very uh, high visibility stuff. We transferred a lot of technology, because it was a new, new area, and we could, uh, keep ahead of the general practice pretty easily, and there was a lot of technology.

Tarrant: Well, and I would say the same thing for alder. I think that what we did with alder, to, in total those who were working on it, was push, push alder, or push Weyerhauser into the position where it is, where, uh, a story about that, I wrote a paper when I came back down here to Corvallis, uh, wrote a paper, and I wanted an author from industry and one from the Forest Service, and one from Oregon State University, which, uh, would be the chief. Sent a copy for review to Weyerhauser. And uh, they sent it to one of their economists, and he wrote back, it was a paper which pointed out what things had to change and how much, and most of the things had to change just very little to make it competitive, which it was for several years with, uh, number 3 sawlogs, and these changes had occurred. Well, we sent it up there for review, and uh, got a nice, courteous letter back saying 'Well that's a very interesting thing, but, uh, pooh-pooh.' Essentially, [that] was what they said at the end of it. At the very same time, this guy who was deputy director at the Station had a old college buddy that was getting well up into, uh the hierarchy at Weyerhauser, and uh, almost coincidentally, when the reviewer got on this thing, uh, this guy, he and his wife paid a visit to his friend in Seattle, and he said, 'Gosh, he was telling me interesting things,' he said, 'they're re-vamping their organization again, and they're going to have it under only 4 headings.' And he said, 'One of them is hardwood opportunities.' [laughter] And he said, 'The guy told me,' he said, 'you know, this is really a major one here. [laughing] We should be featuring it.' Well, they carried on from that and by jeez, they did, and they went ahead and they control the thing now. They bought,uh, well, they bought out Diamond, down in Eugene, and that was the last big-sized alder sawmill in this state, and they've got the supply pretty well taken care of, but, uh, I don't know if they would have gotten into that without a lot of pushing from people from various places who were working on it. But the Station, I don't recall the Station as having a really gutsy technology transfer job.

Swanson: And so, as I understand

Tarrant: [interrupting] By and large. By and large. Roy and I probably are.

Swanson: You mean that you were pursuing alder in that way out of personal motivation, rather than direction from above?

Tarrant: Yeah, yeah. It was like, you're trying to

Brookes: [interrupting] That's the way it works. The way it works best. You don't

Tarrant: If you want to join the church and get the fever, why gee, uh, you can bring in converts. [laughter]

Silen: It seems to depend on the involvement of people. In genetics, we had a coop that had 33 industrial companies, plus all the government agencies, and several counties, and they were all in this one coop, looking to us for genetic information. That was technology transfer in a big way.

Swanson: So you had them bought in on the front end.

Silen: You bet.

Swanson: So that they were looking for, looking for stuff.

Silen: Sure. And they still do.

Kerrick: I think we're always looking for stuff, you know.

Swanson: Um hm.

Kerrick: You know, useful stuff. Contrary to what, uh, a lot of folks think. I think the Forest Service has always been looking, the National Forest System side has always been looking for stuff, whatever that stuff might be, that would help, uh, manage the forest better. Uh, we've had a lot, when I think of technology transfer, I, the classic, uh, example of what can happen, rapidly transferring technical knowledge, research knowledge into practical, land management, is what happened here on the Willamette in the '80s. Uh, when we were developing plans, we had a ranger that was, uh, I actually hand-picked the guy, who was close with researchers, and then when he left, Steve [Eubanks] was recruited. Another person with the same idea, of course a different personality and a really different push on things, but to me, putting people together like that, that can hang out and work, work with the research community, I think is beyond belief, as far as I could see, in terms of rapid technology transfer. The classic there was this whole issue of slash, from what we

Swanson: Yeah

Kerrick: [continuing] had traditionally done. [laughing] turned it around in a matter of days, I think, as a result of the stuff that's happening right here. Had a ranger that was really open to find a, figure out better ways of doing things.

Swanson: That wasn't technology in the sense of, the implied sense of going from, you know, a one-way street. It was the managers and researchers all together.

Kerrick: Yeah.

Brookes: That is a determined flaw, and I keep trying to write it out of every document that comes across my desk, for that reason. It just doesn't, I mean, the idea at PNW Station about how to do technology transfer is to do videos, and I kept saying, 'You can't do them as well as NOVA. You know, go out and talk to people. Tell them on the phone. Be with them.

Geier: Hm. So who were some of the people that were involved in that?

Kerrick: Well, here in the '80s, Steve Eubanks was the ranger here, and Lynn Burditt followed him.

Franklin: We called him the experimental ranger! [laughter]

Swanson: On the experimental ranger district. [laughter] The experimental forest boundary was sort of lost.

Dyrness: Is that right?

Kerrick: I have to admit, Steve made me a little nervous at times. [loud laughter] And it was well worth it. [laughter]

Swanson: It's striking, because we're responsible, on the PNW front, for both the Andrews and Cascade Head, and although the SO for the Siuslaw is in Corvallis, and for the Andrews is in Eugene, the relationships are totally different. And a lot of it is, sort of complete ownership, on the part of the Willamette, of this, this

Kerrick: We're part of this thing.

Swanson: Yeah.

Kerrick: Yeah. On the coast, you know, we had some great opportunities, but we didn't have the same relationship. The managers were fighting the researchers all the time. You know, [unintelligible] and that sort of thing. It was just absolutely disgusting, you know, things got done almost in spite of it. Often. But not so here.

Silen: In the genetics coop, the hardest people to work with were the Forest Service people.

Swanson: Why?

Silen: I don't know. Just that they had too many bosses over them, or something. You could have these big field meetings where they'd be going to different seed orchards and looking at uh, the latest things that people were doing, and see, the Forest Service didn't have any orchards for a long time. They just couldn't get around to it. They had too much, it was strange.

Kerrick: Whereas a small, you mean.

Silen: All the companies, had it. Even Indian [agencies] had one.

Swanson: What are your perspectives on these things, Ted? [pause] Tech transfer and influencing policy and management? [long pause]

Dyrness: What'd you say? [loud laughter]

Swanson: What are your thoughts on the business of

Dyrness: [laughing] of what?

Swanson: Of linkage with management policy?

Dyrness: Out of the Andrews?

Swanson: Yeah, out of here, and in the larger sense.

Dyrness: Well, you know, early on, I felt that what we did here was of very little interest to even the people on the district. It was kind of a, um, let live, let live type of a deal, and I remember once, uh, we were working on a roadside seeding study, going up to the Watershed One landing, which was there in, and, uh, I forget who was the Ranger, but he was out tooling around alone, you know.

Franklin: Was it Bob?

Dyrness: And he was, stopped and asked us what we were doing, and I was so shocked, because that was the FIRST time that that had happened, you know. Really. And so, that shows that we were kind of ivory tower posy pickers, or something, uh, what we did had very little impact on what they were going to do, but so, live and live. And so, it wasn't until I was in Alaska, because I left in '74, that a lot of these changes were made, you know, that uh, and when I'd come down to visit, and we'd go out in the field, and we'd look at that cutting with Steve Eubanks, you know, the New Forestry cutting, it was great. You know, it was just very, very gratifying to see, finally, that there was this partnership. And, uh, early on, in IBP, when we had a meeting, it would be unheard of for the Blue River District Ranger to be at a meeting. Now, with LTER, it's a matter of course. And it's so much better now. It's, it's great. And, and it really helps the researcher to know that what he's coming up with, he or she's coming up with, will be applied, you know. It's reasonable. And uh, so much better. When I was doing stuff with Weyerhauser, back in the '50s, when we did soil vegetation surveys for Klamath Falls Tree Farm, a guy by the name of Tom [Oar?] was the head forester there, and he was one of these innovators. He was the first guy to try and use the computer. He programmed it himself, and by then, back then, programming was just plugging in the wires, and stuff, you know, he'd do that. But he was an innovator. And I remember, it was kind of scary. I'd come up with suggestions about management, and he would implement it right away. It was, you know, it was kind of scary, but you know, overall, it's a good feeling that what a manager wants to do is [infused with?] research.

Swanson: Yeah. Interesting then, because it sounds like Roy was working on those, sort of technology transfer, idea-development thing, from really, Day One, pretty much, but it sort of waxed and waned over the history, and then it really sort of went bonkers in the last 5 or 10 years, depending on how you count it. What are your perspectives of this as a fellow posy-picker here, working on?

Franklin: Well, that's pretty much true. When I was, clearly, I mean I think the first example that emerged where there was clearly an intersection of National Forest interests and a researcher was woody debris in streams.

Kerrick: Uh huh.

Franklin: I think that was the first intersection, and then there's, it was strange for all parties in this case [laughter]. I remember, uh, uh, John Gordon being down here on a field trip and he was talking about woody debris in streams, and he got me aside and said, 'You know, we don't know, let's, you know, you need to be careful what you say, because you've got this big program and the budget this year to clean debris out of streams.

Dyrness: Oh, no kidding, yeah. Yeah.

Swanson: What year was that?

Franklin: I don't know, it was probably in the

Swanson: Early '70s?

Franklin: No, it was probably in the mid- '70s.

Swanson: Okay.

Dyrness: Yeah.

Franklin: I was, you know, I just, the debris thing, both in the stream and on land was clearly where there was an intersection of interests and uh

Kerrick: Well, we were spending big bucks to uh, that's right, to stop it, yeah, have value in a big way [laughing]

Franklin: Right. You are. Haul them down and, gee whiz.

Kerrick: [laughing] I mean, you could save a bundle, and make good decisions as a result of it. I mean, my God, what could be better?

Silen: Yeah. You're talking about taking the debris out of the stream itself?

Kerrick: Well, no, no, no, no. Uh, it's taking, I mean, going way beyond, uh, I mean, it was costing money. And it was costing money to take all this stuff off the slopes. And the process of doing it wasn't making any money at all. And, and there was more value being left to the place.

Franklin: Some of the loggers had a lot of fun with that.

Kerrick: Yeah. [laughter]

Silen: Yeah, I, it didn't seem like we had any problems getting loggers to take this big debris out of the streams [laughs].

Kerrick: Well, no, yeah. Uh, stuff that had a value, right. Yeah. Now we've got them circling and putting it back in.

Levno: Pretty soon, dinner will be ready.

Swanson: So do we need to mosey on up that way?

Levno: We don't have to. We should. [laughter] If you want your dinner.

Kerrick: You don't want to get the cook mad, do you?

Dyrness: don't get the cook mad.

Franklin: This decision was probably the ultimate, you know, there was, a key, for me was, when I came back from sabbatical in January, I was just evolving the ideas on fragmentation, and I remember being with [laughing], this Ranger back here, uh [unintelligible name, laughing], 'Wow you're really doing all this, making all kinds of suggestions, and you know, and immediately went out and tried to implement some of those [new frag?] alternatives, and gave me a lot of feedback that was very useful to me, and I ended up talking to the Chief and stuff about this stuff, and I just learned that this foreman, who I was collaborating with, was scared to DEATH about your, he told me this, this summer, you know, that you were going to go talk to the Chief of the Forest Service about this stuff, and [laughs] hadn't even finished our analysis yet [laughing, laughter]

[Recording pauses, picks up in midsentence]

Swanson: ...in '89, and gave some guidance off that same, into the history. [pause]

Geier: I think if we can put some of the ideas that we have been talking about here together, the long term research and the, um, technology transfer, were there problems with conducting long-term research when there was a concern, a natural concern in the agency, with accomplishing technology transfer, and uh, um, making some pragmatic use out of the research? Was there a conflict in starting up long term research, getting support for it?

Silen: How long term are you talking about?

Geier: Well, that's kind of what I'm asking [laughing] too is, it depends a little bit on what your definition of long term research is. Um, did that affect your definition of long term research?

Silen: No, I see very little research that lasts past the lifetime, or career, of the investigator, and I don't know, but that seems to be the problem in genetics.

Kerrick: Well, yeah, it is a problem, but I think there's been some kind of breakthroughs in that, too. Uh, the 200-year study, obviously, that's going to go beyond the life of

Silen: Yeah, well, we started awful long-term studies too, but [laughing]

Kerrick: But, yeah, now, the proof in the pudding is will it continue, right. I mean, will it go 200 years? The fact that it only goes as long as the investigator is a little scary too.

Silen: It is scary, and I don't know too many exceptions to that.

Kerrick: I guess I remember that too, with this 200-year time slot. How is that guaranteed? How is that written in stone?

Silen: There's no way to guarantee it. We were just talking about the long-term growth plot, that here there was an order to tear out the tags [laughs]. But, even so, there was, there, once you got past the one who put it in, there wasn't much, uh, to keep it going. They kept transferring them from one place to another to try to find somebody to take care of them.

Kerrick: I remember a big effort here, not too many years ago, to go back and relocate them all, you know, using wands to [laughing] locate the tags, and whatnot.

Swanson: The main thing you've got to do is sustain the passion. We had some passion to get those things going [laughs].

Kerrick: Right.

Silen: Well, the questions change too much to keep it going.

Kerrick: That's right, and then the world changes.

Swanson: But that, for some areas of our work, I think, has been a key. Like the watershed work, and some of the long-term vegetation plots, and maybe the log decomposition work, and the woody debris in streams, which we've been tracking for over 20 years. Keep that thread, and keep doing the boring, same old thing, all the time, meanwhile, the issue environment, the political and social context, and the science issues of the day change in sort of, it seems like a 5 to 8 year kind of time-step, and that seems to me to have been an import kind of a lesson from reflecting on the history of a lot of the long-term studies, is balancing persistence, which some agencies haven't been able to do, EPA, and places, outfits like that can never do that. Balance that persistence with the flexibility and seeing how the long term information of these long term studies are relevant to the most current, um, issues.

Silen: I have a good example in genetics, um, there were 4 long-term studies in ponderosa pine genetics, spatial variation studies put in by, uh, Gus [Therason?] and Thornton Munger, at, uh, [Kemper?] Idaho, and uh, oh, another one in New Zealand, and all of them are essentially abandoned right now. I've gone in and gotten the records, I even made a trip to Arizona to get the records for the Arizona plot, but I've gotten the records, and I'm going to produce a publication, and what does the publication say? Uh, 'Geneticists are primarily looking at growth rate of trees, including growth rate of trees, the, uh, long term plots, the after-half-century, survival becomes the biggest, biggest factor in yield,' uh, I think it's important that those plots be, at least reported on, and I'm going to do it. [pause]

Franklin: You sort of make a point, that, you know, it takes an individual like you, who's willing to go in to pick up that

Silen: [interrupting] No. I think the point is that there is a good reason to have long term studies and be serious about it, and these organizations that have responsibility for it ought to take them seriously. [pause]

Levno: That's true for the watershed stuff, too. Boy, we just kept going, and now all of a sudden, there's questions coming out of the woodwork [laughing]: 'Why'd you do that, and how could all the low-flow information, peak flow, and, of course those records need a hand [laughing] magnifying glass, to look at all those.

Swanson: But can the institution really keep those things going, or does it wind up being the passion of individuals that keeps them going?

Silen: Well, it was the passion of individuals that got them started, and I suppose the answer is that, yeah, they're going to disappear when the passion goes, and the second generation comes up.

Swanson: Did you get the impression that leadership wants to lead, and just keeping the same old stuff going [laughs] doesn't seem like leadership? It just seems that there's a struggle, a constant struggle, to keep some of these things going.

Silen: Well it's, so much of it is just financing. I, organizations just aren't run in the same way all the time.

Geier: What kind of arguments do you make? Or what kind of arguments HAVE you made when management has made that kind of a claim, that it's time to move on and do something new, instead of doing these old, long-term studies? Are there some examples of how that was countered with a

Silen: Unless you have, unless you have [laughing] a Jerry and, uh, others, around raising the questions, you don't. Nothing happens.

Kerrick: I'm curious what's going on right now, uh, from the outside, looking at what's happening with the downsizing, reducing budgets, how is that whole thing happening, continuing research today? I, in talking to the NFS, National Forest scientists, I guess it's kind of a disaster in places today. Is the same thing happening in Research now?

Silen: You bet! You bet it is. For example, the genetics unit that I was in, uh is [typing?] forest plots. That's right. We've lost the long term plots.

Geier: In things like the watershed studies, where you have these long, long records going way back, uh, and you have new uses, where there's new demands on the information that you weren't anticipating, um, what kinds of lessons have you learned about how to design a watershed study from that kind of experience? Uh.

Levno: Well, you've just got to be consistent, you know, you start out from Day One and decide you're going to do it this way, and you just don't change anything unless you really double-check everything.

Franklin: Make sure that the records are as good as they can be.

Levno: So that you can differentiate. Things have to be the same, year after year after year. Sometimes new methods and new instrumentation just don't do it. [laughs]

Geier: If you add new information, do you layer it on top if old information, I mean, do you take the old readings and keep them going, and do you add new things on as you project ahead?

Levno: Well, the streamflow records, I know, we try to get upgrades from precipitation and, and distribution of snow, and all that kind of stuff, but getting the original record of streamflow records, that curve, is pretty much what you have to have, and so, maintaining that curve with the same calibration, so the flumes are the same in 35 years later as they were when you put them in, and so with watershed studies, it's more easy, I think. [laugh] As long as you maintain that original configuration of the record, why it's

Silen: Or configuration of the stream. Suppose you had a gauging [loud laughter obscuring comments].

Levno: Yeah, right, that's exactly right. You know.

Kerrick: And that's not so far fetched. It's happened several times.

Levno: Yeah, right.

Kerrick: Where the whole gauging station's been blown out. [laughter]

Levno: The flume is still there! The flume put in in 1953 is still there! [laughter]

Swanson: Yeah, it's buried 14 feet down [laughter], in the '96 event.

Franklin: Uncovered twice! [laughter] But it's still there! [laughter]

Levno: And that's really valuable. I mean, that gives us the same low flows for 35 years, and the same peak flows.

Kerrick: Yeah, right.

Franklin: [unintelligible] is exactly the same, with quality control, as what you were saying. You know, you have to be absolutely obsessed with quality control.

Dyrness: Who is?

Franklin: Gene Leikens.

Dyrness: Hm.

Swanson: "Keep it simple" must be part of it too, because the more complex it gets, the harder it gets to maintain the

Silen: Yeah, and be careful which computer you put it in [laughs].

Swanson: Yeah.

Silen: Ten years from now, you might not even have a machine to run.

Kerrick: Well, how about water chemistry? Were you dealing with water chemistry way back when?

Levno: Yeah, we were dealing with water chemistry, but that's a real [long pause] funny thing. We've been keeping the same old records, but when we lost Dick, we haven't had anybody to really check in and take his place. We've been taking the water samples exactly the same as he took 'em, you know, but nobody's looked into the record. [laughs]

Swanson: Well, we have a Ph.D. student, now, who's starting to look at some of that.

Dyrness: And Dick caught the vision, I think, from Leiken, you know.

Swanson: Should we go and eat?

Levno: Yeah, we should go.

Swanson: At some point, I wanted to ask for some sage wisdom from these assembled wise persons [laughter] about uh, what you think about the future of the place and where the program might go, or perhaps, should go. Maybe after dinner. I guess well have, maybe a little beer and wine, or some other drinks.

Levno: Well, we've got soda pop and water! [laughter]

Swanson: Were you gonna bring-or did that not happen?

Dyrness: Well, we were talking about it. We've gotta get somebody to go and get some.

Swanson: Okay. Beer run. I can do that.

Dyrness: You can do that.

Swanson: Maybe I'll run and do that.

Geier: I'd better make sure my batteries aren't dead here. [recording ends]