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Jerry Franklin Oral History Interview - Part 1, September 13, 1996

Oregon State University

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Max Geier: Actually, what I'd like to start off with is some of the things you were just kind of suggesting on our way up here in the car. I noticed you mentioned other places that you started thinking about forestry when you were nine years old living in Camas. What led you into forestry and ecology?

Jerry Franklin: Actually, this was really the place where it started, right here at the Mineral Springs, in 1945, when the war was coming to an end. Our family finally got a car and we started going out and camping during the summer. This was the first place we came at the time [Wind River Experimental Forest and region in southern Washington]. We came here many, many times. So, this is where it all began for me far as an interest in trees and forests is concerned. Basically, it was very apparent to me that's what I wanted to be involved in just about as soon as I knew that sort of thing existed. Dad just basically enjoyed being in the woods. My Dad enjoyed being in the woods.

Geier: Your dad was a mill worker, is that right?

Franklin: He was a mill worker at the paper mill at Camas. He worked out at the log farm, initially, where the logs came in. He was a fisherman and he was a hunter.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: So, it just seemed like what I wanted to do.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: I don't remember even having to think about it very much.

Geier: One interesting thing of the people I've talked to so far; you're the first person whose really grew up in this area. Can you talk a little bit about your academic background. So you went to WSU. Was that undergraduate or --?

Franklin: -- I went to a junior college my freshman year, then went to Washington State University in my sophomore year. I did well in a variety of subjects, even though I'd come to think I wanted to go into forestry. I got distracted, as people often do. But, then in my junior year, I went to Oregon State University and settled down, got my B.S. at Oregon State in '59, my Masters in Forest Management at Oregon State in '61, then went to Pullman for a Ph.D., which I got in 1966. That was in botany, rather than in forestry.

Geier: Were there people who kind of guided you along your career path in that period?

Franklin: Well, there really were. There were guys all along there. There was a botany professor at Clark College where I went my first year, by the name of Anikka Honnick, who was literally very encouraging, and later became a collaborator with me in some of my research. And then the person at Oregon State who was really key was Bill Ferrell.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: Bill was the one that advised me to go to Washington State instead of doing what I had planned, which was to go to University of Washington, in forestry. Bill was always a very influential person. He was also the person that made the connection between the Forest Service and the Coop-Ed program, or Student Trainee program as they called it then.

Geier: What was the rationale for WSU over University of Washington at that point?

Franklin: Well, the interesting thing was, Professor Daubenmire was up in Pullman, and he was an outstanding community ecologist and forest ecologist, and they had an outstanding department at Washington State. It might be good for you to do something other than a forestry school, because you've done forestry and you've got two degrees in it. He [Ferrell] just said, "You know, got a good program up there in ecology and soils, maybe you better look at it."

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: And I did, and made my decision to do that.

Geier: Did you work with Daubenmire when you were up there?

Franklin: Yeah, he was my major professor.

Geier: Okay. You said that Bill Ferrell helped link you up with the Forest Service?

Franklin: Yes, it was my third year at the university and my first year at Oregon State. I had a couple of classes the fall of '56 and the winter of '57. And, he heard that they were looking for a student, and he had me in his fall class. They were looking for a student that might be interested in a career in research. So, Bill suggested me to them and they contacted me, and I was interested. It was a real risk for me, because the government didn't pay very well in those days, and I was totally dependent on my own resources for school. I had been working at Crown Zellerbach at the paper mill and making, probably, three times as much money as I could working for the government. But I decided I'll take the risk and hope I get a scholarship the next year. Which I did.

Geier: You were working at Crown Zellerbach here in Oregon?

Franklin: No. Camas [Washington, north side of Columbia River].

Geier: Oh, okay.

Franklin: I'd work there in summer , and then I'd come home on weekends and work two or three shifts.

Geier: When you got to the Forest Service, did you start working at the PNW Station directly?

Franklin: I think I went to work for them, must have been December of 1956 or January of 1957, I'm not sure. You know, it was right in that time, and it was either January or February of 1957, that I made my first trip down to the Andrews. I went along with people that were checking the gauging stations and just to get familiar with the place.

Geier: Who was there at the time?

Franklin: Who was working at the time?

Geier: Who did you go down there with?

Franklin: I don't remember who I went down with at the time. Bob Ruth was the head of the research unit there in Corvallis [Willamette Research Center]. Bob was the one who hired me. Carl Berntsen was working at the Andrews at that time, but they just hired Jack Rothacher. I think I probably went down there with either Carl or some other temporary from Corvallis, because I think Jack was down there [H.J. Andrews]. I don't remember who I went down there with, but that summer was Jack Rothacher's first summer in charge of the Andrews, and so I worked for Jack that summer of 1957.

Geier: What were your impressions of the Andrews that first meeting?

Franklin: Oh, wow, it was neat. I hadn't seen much old growth in the Oregon Cascades up until then. I had always been up here [Washington], and so it was a little different kind of forest, and to compare the Washington old growth and the Oregon old growth, you get a sense for that. It was just neat. It was pretty remote at that time. Hadn't been as much cutting. We went in on snowshoes. I think that's the first time I've ever been on snowshoes. So, it was an exhilarating experience.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: The summer was my first real summer. I'd worked on a fire crew for a couple of years, a forest fire crew, but as a youngster. It was my first real experience working regularly in the big woods, a lot of time on my own. I did a lot of backpacking on weekends.

Geier: Did you have a long-range career goal at that point, what you wanted to do?

Franklin: Well, I think by that time I sort of decided I did want to work on research.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: I kind of developed a long-term career goal.

Geier: You talked about this briefly earlier, but what was the turning point from being a park ranger?

Franklin: I wanted to be in forestry, but at various times I was pretty wide open to what that was going to mean. I'd even thought about forest products at times, being from a pulp and paper town, I was kind of interested in that. But the ranger's job is what everyone always thinks about, but by that time I'd become considerably more sophisticated, and it was clear that if you were a researcher, you really had an opportunity to do a lot of interesting things. I think it was becoming pretty clear by then that this was a good track for me.

Geier: And did you have advisors pushing you in that direction?

Franklin: Well, I guess so in a way. Bill Ferrell, again, was a significant influence in that process. Once I got hooked into the PNW research program, there were a lot of people around that sort of influenced me. I saw what they were doing, it was exciting, it was interesting, and not as structured. I didn't know it then, but I really preferred a less structured situation. I like freedom. I like options.

Geier: What kind of projects were you working on at that time?

Franklin: Well, when I first started out I was just, you know, a grunt. Mostly I was working on the Watershed Research [PNW] program that summer [1957], and the first big job of the summer was to run the boundary surveys on Watersheds 1, 2, and 3.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: Staff compassing, chains. I was the junior member of the crew, and another summer technician and I did that. I did the regular servicing of the gauging stations every month, and some maintenance. Jack Rothacher designed an interception study, and I did basically all the work in installing that that summer. I worked mostly on the watershed research program. They also had me start my first research project, which was to develop a guide for identifying tree seedlings.

Geier: Who put you up to that?

Franklin: Well, they sort of made that a part of a student training program.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: The trainees should have their own research project that they sort of design and carry out. Then, the next summer I got assigned to Cascade Head Experimental Forest working on the Timber Management Research Program at Cascade Head. Now, I wasn't very happy about that. I wanted to go back to the Andrews.

Geier: What was the difference between the Cascade Head and the Andrews?

Franklin: The Andrews program at that point had transitioned mostly under watershed research. Roy Silen was finishing up his regeneration studies, and still a little bit of field work was going on. He had some other people to help him with that. Carl Berntsen had been doing a little bit of work down on the Andrews on regeneration, but basically watershed research was the big game at the Andrews. The Cascade Head Experimental Forest was all timber management research. Cutting methods, regeneration, spruce-hemlock type, a different forest type. I didn't mind the timber management research, but I've always liked the Cascadian environment better than the coastal one. The guy I worked for at Cascade Head was kind of an old, he wasn't old, he was a young curmudgeon (laughter), so it wasn't near as much fun as working for Jack.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: That was the summer of '58, and then, I graduated in '59. They put me on right away. I was suppose to go back to Cascade Head, but Carl Berntsen moved to Bend.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: So they gave me Carl's job, and Carl had the responsibility for timber management research on the Andrews Experimental Forest. I began to take responsibilities down there. I was based in Corvallis instead of the Andrews.

Geier: Did you maintain pretty close ties with Oregon State University while you were?

Franklin: Uh-huh.

Geier: Under Chet?

Franklin: I also started in a little master's program and took over Roy Silen's, didn't take it over. Roy had cut some odd harvest units from the Andrews, back in '52, '53, '54, some strips, small groups, seed trees, for which he took a lot of shit from the region. But anyway, he'd done it, so what I did was decided to do a regeneration study of those units for my masters. I worked on that in summers. I might have been working on that already in summer of '59, but, probably, mostly, in the summer of '60.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: At any rate, Carl leaving as I graduated gave me a position in Corvallis which had Andrews responsibility.

Geier: I see. That's about a year or two before Ted Dyrness was down there. Did you know Ted at OSU at that time?

Franklin: I met him, I think. Somewhere along the way we encountered each other, but fundamentally, I didn't know him.

Geier: Your perception of the Andrews in the period of '58 to '63; what did you think of that in terms of the people working on the site, and especially the infrastructure and facilities?

Franklin: There were no facilities. Well, I shouldn't say that. In '59, '60, '61, we had a small office in the basement of the ranger station [Blue River]. And we had a residence [also in Blue River], which was where Jack Rothacher lived. Then the summer of '59, in the middle of the summer, we got a house trailer, which we put on the Forest Service compound. I initiated that trailer house. Ted and I used that for many years after that.

Geier: You probably had some local interaction with the people at the ranger station at that time. Did you work with them much at all?

Franklin: Well, I didn't have a lot of interaction with the rangers. I guess I had some. I typically had interactions with timber sales officers because I was involved at that point in the preparation of the sales programs for the Andrews, and then helping to design a timber sale. Then I was, of course, a liaison with the timber sales officers that were administering the timber sales. I worked quite a bit with the district people. I kind of almost forgot about that. That was a significant part of my job also; to help basically prescribe the regeneration treatment that was going to go on. At that point, we still had a very significant timber sale program on the Andrews. The philosophy was that the sooner we could bring the Andrews under complete management, the better. And, the whole mission was that a really good experimental forest would be state-of-the-art in terms of whatever the current art was.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: We kind of believed that strategy. What you do is to use up all your options. You commit yourself to whatever's popular at the moment. In any case, that would be the intent for both Cascade Head and Andrews; to bring it all under management. So, we were still over-cutting a lot, not really for experimental purposes, but just to convert stands and to build roads. Most of the timber sales in that period were sales that Carl had developed, and worked with the district on. I was just doing the follow through, but it was at that time, for example, around '60, '61, '62, when the road got punched all the way up Lookout Creek, up to Frissell Point. The road also got punched up to Carpenter Saddle. So, we were still doing a tremendous amount of road-building and timber cutting at that point.

Geier: So your role with the ranger station can be written as adjusting prescriptions and things for regeneration. Was that mainly for land on the Andrews, or was that what they did in the district in general?

Franklin: That was for Andrews.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: We had no jurisdiction at all, no significant involvement, outside the Andrews. It was pretty heavy duty, go-for-broke management. They weren't much interested in research. In fact, periodically, this particular McKenzie District would do something on the Andrews Experimental Forest without even clearing it with us. They had the backside. They had the ridge on the south side of Lookout Ridge. If you think of the Andrews as a triangle, the McKenzie Bridge District had the land that bordered the Andrews on two sides of that triangle [Other area - Blue River District]. They could put up a timber sale and build a railroad there up and drop it down on the Andrews side, and we wouldn't know about it until it happened.

Geier: Who was in charge of the district at that time?

Franklin: Oh, I don't remember. There were probably several people in charge. One of the people who was in charge of McKenzie Bridge District during that time was Mike [Loadman?]. Mike was a pretty hard core, go-for-broke kind of guy, who did pretty much what he damned pleased on the district. So, anyway, we had a number of cases where there were cut-ins done up high ,that we would rather not have had done, but they were sort of almost fait accompli.

Geier: As far as you can recall, the district didn't pose questions for you to try and solve or anything up there?

Franklin: No, they really didn't. The district wasn't very intimately involved in the research program in those days. They weren't very interested in it. To a degree there was involvement, it tended to be at the regional office level. If you got discussions at all between research and management, it tended to be at that level.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: Occasionally at mid-level, but almost never at the district level. But you had to work with people at the district level to do your activity.

Geier: Mmm.

Franklin: So, you worked with them a lot in actual implementation.

Geier: How about interaction with people in Blue River, the community on the river. When you went up there, did you pretty much stay on the trailer site, or did you go down to the river?

Franklin: At the start of the summer we were at the CCC work center where the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station is today. The first half of that summer, I stayed in that work center because we had no living facilities in Blue River. When I moved to Blue River, I lived in the trailer, and I pretty much stayed with that. There were some district trailers; it was sort of a trailer park.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: We called it "West Blue River Heights." We certainly had contact with the district people. Not as many as I had when I was working out at the work center in McKenzie Bridge, because there you had a lot of contact with other seasonals who were there, people who were going to be lookouts, for example, and were going through their training. You interacted with other district people there, but once you got into the trailers, unless your work brought you together, you didn't. I didn't drink, and so I didn't go down to the bars, pool room, or anything like that, to hang out.

Geier: And your family was up in Corvallis?

Franklin: Actually, I got married in '58, and my family lived in Corvallis at that point. I'd go down there for maybe a week at a time. More often, two or three days at a time.

Geier: You were talking earlier about what standard perceptions of experimental forests doing whatever was state-of-the-art at the time. Was that your perception of what they were for?

Franklin: No, that was pretty well-stated. The whole notion was that an experimental forest ought to be a full-fledged representation of our ideal for the national forest. It should be a fully regulated forest with a range of stands of many stands with different ages. Should all be accessible by road. And there was no attempt at that time of reserving any part of the forest other than the control watershed.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: The notion was, the sooner you get this area roaded and converted, the sooner you would have the kinds of stands you really wanted to do research on, which were managed stands.

Geier: Mmm.

Franklin: I'm almost sure that's gotta be written down in a variety of places. If you want to get some insight, what you need to do is look at some of the inspections. We had constant inspections from forest and office people who would come out. There were general functional inspections and general regional inspections. There would be people coming out to review the entire research program. There would be people who came out to review the timber management research program. There were constant reviews and assessments going on, and every one of those generated some kind of inspection report. Those really give you insight into what was going on, what people were thinking, what the pressures were, what were people being pushed to do. And those inspection reports would have represented the most progressive thinking at the time. Some of those spoke to the importance of getting these areas regulated. We knew what we were doing. Theoretically, you weren't suppose to be cutting on experimental forests unless it was for scientific purposes, but we were all so anxious to get these areas under management that we basically said, "Hey, even though we're not doing actual studies of this, we're setting ourselves up for them, for the research program." So, most of the timber harvest on the Andrews was not associated with specific research projects, but instead, creating a particular scenario, a management situation for subsequent research.

Geier: I was wondering, at that time for you and some people you were working with, did all this make sense to you?

Franklin: It made sense. No, that is, it made sense to me. I bought into it. I don't know at what point I stopped buying into it, but certainly for the first two, three, or four years of my career, I bought into it. I wasn't as regressive about it as some others were in a sense that I probably would've had a little bit of that feeling of, well, I'd better go slow on some of this. But, at that point, I didn't see where there was going to be any old growth saved. And I certainly didn't see any interest at all in research on old growth. It was very clear: the Forest Service wasn't going to put any money into old-growth research other than, coincidentally, as a part of watershed research program.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: You needed a controlled watershed to compare with, and one, two, three months to work on trees. So, I saw the future for Forest Service research as being manipulating things of various kinds. And, my preservation energies went into the Research Natural Area Program. The Forest Service has this program to set aside examples of different kinds of forest conditions. I put a lot of effort into that beginning, probably '62, '63, I began to get involved. The first place I got involved in was right here in this district. At least, we can save some good examples of these different forest conditions. So, through most of the sixties I put a lot of energy into the natural area program, which became to be called the Research Natural Area Program. In theory at least, I thought it provided an opportunity to preserve some good examples of different kinds of forests and habitats.

Geier: Did you work with any involvement in identifying areas that would fit -- ?

Franklin: -- Right. First, I started by just being one participant of a variety of people that were identifying areas. What evolved during the sixties, was more and more of my effort going into that kind of activity, and an increasing level of sophistication as I discovered what the objections were going to be.

Geier: What kind of problems were you running into?

Franklin: Well, with John Williams, from timber management, this was a really big issue. You know, research natural areas were withdrawn from the allowable cut? And National Forest people also didn't like them because they set aside lands that took away their options. Even if they didn't have in mind the timber sale program, it was a lock-up that they then had no flexibility with. Plus, they shared management responsibility with the research station [PNW] on it. So, they gave up jurisdiction and options and often allowable cut. So, they didn't like them at all. The majority of the National Forest people were not enthusiastic supporters of the Natural Area Program. But, there was enough leadership in the station and in the region [Region 6, the regional office of the National Forest system] and in the concept that it provided space for people like me to begin to work. What we essentially, eventually did was develop a comprehensive plan for natural areas. It turned out that it wasn't completed until '73, but the roots of it were in the last half of the '60s. But we realized, "Jesus, they keep asking us again and again, why do you need a Douglas-fir natural area? Why do you need a Lodgepole Pine RNA? How many of these damn things do you need?!" So, it became obvious that what we need to do is develop a comprehensive list. You realized it so much that you needed to define the big picture, and basically the people above were not quite that ready to take that baby on.

Well, late sixties was a process of conditioning people to think about a much more comprehensive list of what was needed. That culminated in a workshop, in I think '73, where we developed the first natural area needs list. The first natural area campaign was then. We'd done some iterations of that kind of activity earlier in simpler form, by, it must have been by '67, or had something like that. It changed the chemistry, because then all you had to do was say, "Well look, we need one of these, or we need one of this kind of things in this area." And once you had that and it had the imprimature of authority, the rangers agreed with us. Then, the first line of objections was off the table. And then it became a matter, "Why this area and not this area?" Or "Why do you need 1200 acres?" "Why can't you do it with 400 acres?" So, it changed the terms of the negotiation process so that you didn't get hit first of all with, "You guys justify this sucker for me." So, you had to sort of make a plan to justify it.

Geier: Did you find certain strategies worked better for getting your argument across? I mean, did you identify that particular stand or did you find yourself selecting stands that you thought there would be less objection to?

Franklin: No. I never worked that way. I always went for the very best. And I got into some real touchy issues. Probably one of the earliest and perhaps one of my most important lessons in the process, was the struggle over the Wildcat Mountain Research Natural Area.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: And it became ultimately a struggle between the forest supervisor and myself. He did not want it there. He wanted it some other place, and he wanted it small.

Geier: Do you recall who that was?

Franklin: Oh yeah, Paul Sumpter is his name. He was the supervisor of the Willamette [NF] through much of the sixties. I have a bad time with name recall these days.

Geier: That's okay. He was the supervisor on the Willamette.

Franklin: He was the supervisor of the Willamette in the early '60s, and I think perhaps most of the '60s. I originally identified this area as a good natural area candidate for noble fir, and the district and the forest asked, "Well, rather than you proposing it, why don't you let us propose it so that we can be good guys--my guys." So, okay, here's the material. And I waited and I waited and lo-and-behold, about a year-and-a-half later came a timber sale advertisement that included part of this proposed research natural area. I went ballistic, and just stirred up an awful fuss about this. They almost pulled the timber sale, but didn't. The regional forestry [office] didn't pull the timber sale, but clearly I got the district and forest both caught a little bit crosswise with the regional office. They didn't like that at all. They had me work with the forest to try to find alternatives for Wildcat. Basically, I managed to talk rationales as to why this is the one we really needed, and persuaded the forest staff to work with me on that. But the forest supervisor still wouldn't buy off on it, and finally the regional forester and the research station director and the whole Natural Area Committee came down to Wildcat Mountain, flew in a helicopter all around it, landed on top of Wildcat Mountain. I still remember the timber management staff getting out at the top, a guy by the name of Glenn Jorgenson, and I liked Glenn real well. The helicopter dropped us off, we walked down off the helispot landing, and took off to go get somebody else. "Well, it looks pretty good to me, but I think we really don't need that area over there." Pointed towards Bunchgrass Mountain. (Laughter) I see what's going to happen here. So, I got my natural area at Wildcat Mountain, but a smaller one than I'd originally planned. Then one that had a harvest unit extending into it. But anyway.

Geier: Who were you working with on these projects at that time in your research?

Franklin: Well, there was a Natural Area Committee in the Forest Service, initially that was shared by the director of the research station [PNW], and we had several research station directors who really liked natural areas. Phil Briegleb was one.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: He was director part of that time. Bob Buckman was another one, the old natural area advocate. Then it had a number of people from the station [PNW], and from the region [6], including someone from timber management. That committee didn't do much work, initially. They just had enough work that they'd meet once or twice a year. Then people like me began to get involved, and Fred Hall began to get involved. The workload began to build and we'd meet every year, twice a year, or every quarter. That committee sort of gave us the umbrella of authority that allowed us to work, and encouraged us to do this. So even despite the controversies, they had a committee which included those region and station people, developed a list of natural areas that were needed, the short list initially, and the more comprehensive one later. Then, also during the '60s, this committee was broadened to include all federal agencies. So, we made it the Northwest Natural Area Committee, where BLM, Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service also participated. Those are who I worked with.

Geier: Did you work with Glen Juday, or is he later?

Franklin: Glen was much later.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: Glen was much later. He was a late arrival. (Laughter)

Geier: With the Andrews, were there any other people up there that were involved with the RNA projects?

Franklin: Ted became very involved in the Research Natural Area Program, and he and I did a lot of stuff together. In the '70s, other people got involved, too. In the '70s, I hired Art McKee. By the early '70s, we had a summer natural area scientist need, where we hired somebody for the summer, and Art was one of those people.

Geier: Oh, okay.

Franklin: So, Art McKee was involved in the natural area program. Don Zobel was involved in the natural area program. But, by that time it was really a going operation. It gave me a chance to get out and get around, and to push an agenda of setting aside good examples of each of these forest types for research and educational purposes. I thought that was about all I was going to be able to do in the preservation category. So I didn't push that kind of agenda on the experimental forest at all.

Geier: Yeah, but you were getting involved in a lot of areas outside the experimental forest at the same time you were doing your research there.

Franklin: Right. Right.

Geier: If we could back up a little bit into the early '60s again, and talk about some of the people you were working with on the Andrews. It sounds like during your graduate, or during undergraduate years, you didn't work that closely with them, but as of 1961 or '62, somewhere in there, you started working more closely with them on the Andrews.

Franklin: Ted?

Geier: Yes, Ted Dyrness.

Franklin: Yeah, it was somewhere right in there.

Geier: Yes.

Franklin: It could have been '61, could have been '62, but it was right in there, because, let's see, by '62, I'd started in the Fall of '62, my program [Ph.D] at Pullman. And I knew him by then, and by '64 Will Moir came down, and by '64 we were into the habitat classification [project] for the Andrews. We were getting into that by that time.

Geier: Can you recall what led you and Ted to start working together down there? Did you just meet on the Andrews or did you - ?

Franklin: Well, he was working down there on erosion and landslides and road stabilization. He was working down there on watershed research projects, and I was down there working on timber management research projects. We ended up being together in the trailer, and we obviously had a lot of similar kinds of viewpoints and just general inclinations. So, we looked for opportunities to do things together because our regular work assignments didn't do that. Sometime in that mid-sixties period, '64 perhaps, we decided we really needed to do a habitat-type classification for the Andrews, and we'd do it together. I'd sample the vegetation and he'd sample the soils. So, we had a lot of the same outlook. He had a lot of the same kind of forest community training that I have. We liked working together, we could justify it. And Jack Rothacher helped out a lot in that regard too. Jack encouraged us to work together.

Geier: Interesting. You mentioned that your normal assignments did not really encourage collaboration. Maybe you could talk more about the barriers to that kind of collaboration. Were there problems in trying to work together with someone on a project like that?

Franklin: Really, it's just that you had to have an approved area of work. We did a lot of planning in terms of prioritizing research projects and research areas, so it tended to limit your possibilities in terms of the kinds of collaborations that you could do, and your ability to sort of follow your interests.

Geier: There wasn't any career ladders concerns with you?

Franklin: No. Maybe there was in the early '60s, but by the end of the '60s, we had gotten into the pure research-grid evaluation panels. That took a lot of power away from project leaders in terms of controlling what people did, and certainly controlling their rewards. It very quickly became apparent that you were going to be rewarded salary-wise based upon your productivity. The more stuff, more science you produced, the more publications that you had, and also, the more significant those publications, the more freedom you were going to have to pursue your own selection of interests.

Geier: In that classification effort that you and Ted were working on, can you recall, were there graduate students or assistants helping you on that, or just you and Ted?

Franklin: No, it was just Ted and I.

Geier: I heard a lot of stories about people running across copies of that [habitat classification documents of HJA] still. Someone would have it with marginal comments in it, but that classification still seems to be a real standard. The same time you're working on that, you're beginning to get involved in the IBP, is that right?

Franklin: I think the first meeting that I was involved in was '68. By that time, the guy I worked for, Bob Ruth, and I, had gone through a power struggle. Basically, I think what happened was I was looking real hard to leave the Forest Service and go to some other place, because Bob liked to control people. I don't like to be controlled. I won't say anything more about Bob except that we have some different kinds of values. I think by '66, '67, Bob had sort of been told, "Back off. Let this guy do pretty much whatever he wants to do, because he is bright and it looks like he's gonna be very productive, so we don't want to lose him. Give him enough space that were not gonna lose him." So, by '68, I had a fair amount of flexibility, and it was encouraged by the [PNW] station.

I remember going to the first meeting about the biome program [Coniferous Forest Biome - IBP]; I think it was in '68, it could have been in '69, but I think it was in '68. It was a meeting the University of Washington had put on. Basically, it was a workshop that they put on to bring everybody in and tell them that they were going to have the Coniferous Forest Biome program. So, they were the big guys and said, "We've got this all under control, and we have to talk to you people about it." But, a group of us came up from Corvallis, and basically said, "We have to take some time to figure out exactly all that happened, but what we did was high-centered this proposal for a coniferous forest biome on the basis that we somehow gained enough leverage on the situation that there wasn't going to be a biome program unless we were a part of it. So we significantly derailed some of the Univeristy of Washington's effort. I still remember that meeting.

Geier: How did you accomplish that?

Franklin: I don't remember. I think I would probably have to spend some time thinking about it, and sitting down with people like Dick Waring to talk about what happened at that meeting. Geier: Dick Waring was involved in it also?

Franklin: Dick was involved in it. Anyway, we went up to the Pack Forest to hear about the biome program, and the big dog [Univ. of Wash.] figured that they had it all, but one way or another, it got high-centered, we were very interested in being involved in it and were willing to hold it hostage if we didn't get a significant piece of the action. So, things sputtered along. In '69, we got our first biome grant and got a little bit of money at Oregon State. I was gone in '70, in Japan that year. I came back in '71, things had been sputtering along, and NSF came out on an inspection with the biome program. What they really came out to do was to say, "This program isn't working. Were going to turn it loose." I think we knew that, and three of us got together, Dick Waring, Dale Cole [UW], and myself. I don't know if we explicitly said it this way, but we sort of said, "This program is either going to be a cooperative program between these two institutions and we're either going to work together, or there isn't going to be any program. So let's go ahead and work out a modus operandi." That was basically like a 60/40 split, something like that. Actually, 10-15% went to other institutions, but the split between the two institutions [Oregon State and Washington] was about 60/40.

Geier: So you got a larger share that you had before.

Franklin: You bet that's a larger share, but this was a significant program for us, and was to involve several hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, another thing that happened in the process of the Corvallis crew elbowing their way in, was that we had to work through what we were going to do to allow for a piece of the action. So there was a fight at Corvallis as to whether we were going to go the young-stand route, which was what Mike Newton and Dennis Lavender and several people wanted to do, or whether we were going to study old growth, and the notion of studying an old-growth watershed won out in that debate. So, that was the beginning of the significant investment in ecosystem research. And in old growth, other than watersheds.

Geier: Who's in the old-growth side with you? Ted?

Franklin: Of course, Ted was there. When that memorandum surfaced, that we had to dis-establish the Andrews, we realized that ultimately there was only one way we were going to save this place: We have to build a program. So, when Ted and I saw the biome stuff surfacing, we really went after that very aggressively, and we were very aggressive in the debate at Corvallis. It didn't last long because the bulk of the people involved did want to work with the old growth rather than the managed stands, but there was a struggle for a period of time about where the emphasis should be.

Geier: So there was an early interest in old-growth studies at that time, and this is in the sixties, mid to late sixties? Or later?

Franklin: I've always been looking for ways to get money to study old growth. I've managed to use some of the natural area interests to do that. Well, we need to get some plots out here, and stuff like that. Yeah, there's been an interest in it, and there wasn't any question that a lot of the scientists involved in the initial workshop in '68 were interested in old growth. Were interested in natural forests. And clearly that was what we were interested in by the time we got our first money in '69.

Geier: Interesting how this thing got together. You were talking about this in the car, maybe you can elaborate a little bit more about your perceptions of the reasons that the Andrews was slated for closure in and around that period?

Franklin: Well, the Andrews had been set up for two purposes. One was timber management research on how to convert the old-growth forest to managed stands. That was about harvesting methods, it was about road layouts, it was about logging systems, it was about regeneration. The second objective of the Andrews was to conduct watershed research, specifically, to look at the effects of the conversion and the harvesting on water quality. They were most concerned with the effects on stream flow. Then they became concerned about the effects on things like water temperature. By the time they were ready to manipulate the watershed in the early '60s, they had become interested in nutrients as well as sediments. By '61, they felt they knew about all that needed to know about harvesting old growth. By '61, the timber management research people didn't have any interest in the Andrews anymore. They were interested in managing young stands by that time, and had done all they thought they needed to do on harvest systems and on regeneration. They decided to go with artificial regeneration [planting of seedlings]. So, timber management research had no further interest in the Andrews. Well, dis-establish, just give it back to the national forest then. Except for the staged watersheds which are continuing as watershed research sites. That's exactly what happened on the South Umpqua Experimental Forest. It was disestablished except for -

Geier: Watersheds.

Franklin: The staged watersheds [Coyote Creek Experimental watersheds, 1-4].

Geier: The IBP, as you saw it, was to save the Andrews as a research site.

Franklin: The biome was several things to me. First of all, and I think this was how I got into it initially, I thought, "Wow, this is a chance to build a program at the Andrews, beause the more people we have at the Andrews doing varied kinds of research, the more chances we are going to have to keep this as an experimental property in the future." So, my initial interest was simply in building a program at the Andrews. More people, better variety of activities, but more than anything, just more activities.

[Tape Break]

Franklin: The more research we got going, the more difficult it's going to be for people to come along and dis-establish the property. To demonstrate use. It was only after I got involved in the biome program for a while, I realized here was also the vehicle that was going to allow me to study old-growth forests.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: So, wow! We're finally going to get a chance to really look at an old-growth forest. I don't know what I want to study about it, but we're going to get a chance.

Geier: So, a lot of reasons here for going with the IBP. It strikes me there's something there on the Andrews that you see as necessary to retain as a research site. You'd obviously done work there, so you had some personal investment there. But were there some particular characteristics about the Andrews at that point-in-time, that you saw as really essential to keep inside the research community, and use that as a place to build on?

Franklin: It was only dedicated to old-growth, Douglas-fir forest. That's not quite true, because we also had the Wind River Experimental Forest, here. But, a large, diverse property like that dedicated to research, there ain't many of those around, and they're hard to come by. And it was an extraordinary property, the first old-growth forest. If that was once given up, the community was never ever going to be able to ever capture another property like that again.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: So my attitude towards experimental forests, and towards research natural areas, is, once you give them up, you're odds of ever getting them back, are minute.

Geier: You recognized at that time this was a unique resource?

Franklin: Unique resource. Absolutely.

Geier Your focus at this point is pretty tightly on the Andrews, and you've done most of your work in the Northwest until this point. Had you given any thought up until this time about going and working in other regions, or were you somehow committed to this area?

Franklin: Well, I don't think I ever seriously considered going to any other region. If I hadn't had a job, I might have considered Alaska or the Rocky Mountains. But, these are forests that I really knew and really loved and were in my roots, and I saw no need to go anywhere else. As long as I didn't have to go anywhere else, I damn well wasn't going to go anywhere else. To some extent, I still have a little bit of that attitude. As I look back on my career, and I saw this decades ago, I'm really, really very happy here. And when I get involved in either national or international things, I typically got involved because I needed to create a context in which I could do what I wanted here. I never actively sought responsibilities or activities at the national or international level. That was never my ambition. But, at times, I needed to do that to create what I wanted to have here. Long-term research, the LTER, is exactly an outgrowth of that. You really need a mechanism to fund long-term research at the Andrews. You can't do this on a grant-by-grant basis. It's gonna kill you, as sooner or later you're gonna hit a gap and the bottom's gonna fall out of your program, and you may never get it back on its feet again. So, I go back to the National Science Foundation in 1973-75, and one of the things I get involved in there is, "We've got to find some way to support programs over longer term periods." That becomes ultimately the LTER program. I believe in the value of that for everybody, but it came out of a desire to have it here in the Northwest.

Geier: That's an interesting point. You got involved in the NSF at a cruical point for the Andrews. What was the avenue of approach there? I mean, did you have prior contacts?

Franklin: No, I didn't. When we settled down in '71, I was kind of the broker between Dale Cole and Dick Waring, between Oregon State and University of Washington. So, I had a pretty high profile. In '71, the NSF the program director at that time, asked me if I would be interested in coming back there in two years. What program directors did at that time was they didn't look for their success, they looked for the success of the very successful. So, a guy by the name of Trooper impressed with the role I had played in finally bringing the biome program to my authority, asked me, "Would you be interested in coming back to Washington in '73?" Well, yeah. I didn't really know what the job was about that much, but I figured it's a pretty important place to be at that time because that's about the time the IBP funding is coming to an end. So, you could do a lot of service for both the Andrews and IBP--the other sites, if you took that job. So, I did. He recruited me in '71, I went in the summer of '73. The Andrews program was in pretty good hands. Dick Waring was running a lot of it at that point. So I went back to Washington for two years. I see it partially as being done a lot to create context. To influence an outcome that was going to be important to the Andrews. One way or another I was a part of it. I don't know all of what happened, but we were able to convert the IBP funding to line funding, continuous funding for ecosystem research. Instead of disappearing into just regular ecology or biology funding, the line item that had been there for IBP was rolled over into the ecosystem science program. Which, then, was the opportunity to continue to fund sites like the Andrews, and Coweeta, Hubbard Brook, and other places.

Geier: I think part of your purpose in going back to Washington was to solidify the situation with the Andrews. Did you have a specific agenda at the NSF that you wanted to accomplish there?

Franklin: Yeah, I had an agenda, and I can't remember all of what it was. But one of the things, clearly, was to make sure that at the end of the IBP funding, the programs that had been started, continued.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: And some new, related kinds of activities that hadn't been able to make it in under the IBP band, had got funded. So, for example, a guy by the name of Ed Stone and I went up and stirred things up at Fairbanks, and got going what eventually became the Taiga Research Project and Bonanza Creek LTER. I funded the first work at Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory. It was the first funding out of National Science Foundation. So, yeah, I had an agenda, and it was interdisciplinary ecosystem research projects.

Geier: Interdisciplinary ecosystem in long-term possibility?

Franklin: Yeah, except the longest term we could go at that point was three years.

Geier: Yes.

Franklin: The other part of my agenda was to see if I could work with a system that'd create some kind of longer-term funding mechanism. That was another part of my agenda. First, to provide the opportunity for continuation. Secondly, to begin to extend the timelines.

Geier: You went from experience with academic institutions, OSU, WSU, and the Forest Service, to the NS, between the Forest Service and the NSF. That's a major difference in administrative cultures.

Franklin: Completely, yeah.

Geier: Did you encounter any problems or surprises along those lines?

Franklin: No. By the time I went to the NSF I'd become pretty independent. I largely called my own shots in the Forest Service. I didn't have a lot of bureaucratic constraints. And the funding from the NSF just basically accentuated that because the agency maintained most of their control on researchers through funding. In effect, we had an independent source of funding. Neither the university nor the Forest Service controlled that. So, one of the keys to the history of the Andrews, was that the institutions couldn't really control it, other than they could have said, "No, we won't sign off and we won't pass the money to you and we won't let you do research here." But, they didn't do that. But at the same time, they had very limited ability to influence the program because they weren't providing the funding. We had $400,000 in money that they really had no say over. We were not accountable for that in full. And so, I had a lot of experience before I went to NSF; two, three, four years of that stuff. And I fit in very well into the National Science Foundation culture, which is one of ideas and academic entrepeneurs.

Geier: Who did you work with most closely? You mentioned someone, Cooper, I think.

Franklin: Cooper was gone because --

Geier: -- Oh.

Franklin: -- He had been the program director the two years before. One of the people I worked with a lot was Tom Callahan, who worked for me. He was the assistant program officer. And, the division director that I worked for, the assistant director, was John Brooks, who I maintained a working, cordial relationship, for 15 years after that. And then the assistant director I worked for was a woman by the name of Betsy Clark. She was a molecular biologist, and our working relationship was a very interesting process. In effect, she started out by trying to call the shots for the program. Effectively, I said this isn't going to work. I'm going to go home. She hadn't recruited me. She had come in just shortly before I did, so she really didn't influence my selection, and so, I wasn't her boy.

Geier: That was the main conflict as far as you could tell?

Franklin: Well, she wanted to control. She also was a molecular person rather than an ecosystems person, so she was pretty low on the learning curve. A lot of the first few months there was developing a working relationship with Betsy. She seemed to have a lot of confidence in my abilities, and we worked well for a number of years. We continued to work well with each other right up to the beginning of the LTER program. She left just about the time LTER started. So, I didn't have a problem with the culture. I could have stayed in it another year or two in Washington D.C. The Forest Service wanted me to. But I simply didn't see where it was going to be very useful to me to do so. So, after two years I went back to Corvallis.

Geier: You went there in '73 and came back in '76?

Franklin: '75.

Geier: '75, okay.

Franklin: Bob Ruth retired at that point. It's what they called a trial retirement. I was given the project leader's job. With that, I actually took over the Cascade Head Experimental Forest as part of that job. Jack Rothacher, who was the project leader for watershed research at that point in Corvallis, was in charge of the Andrews. But, Jack and I have always worked together well, so that wasn't a problem.

Geier: Interesting points coming up here. Your main reason for coming back to Corvallis was that you thought you had accomplished what you set out to do?

Franklin: It was a 2-year stint. Those program officer positions at that time were typically 2-year stints.

Geier: But you had another year you could have renewed it if you had wished to stay on.

Franklin: Not at NSF. Well, yes. It would have been a little bit odd.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: But, it could have been done. It was not negotiated that way and I never considered staying longer than that. In two years I felt I'd done all I could. I pushed the panels just as far as I could. I probably spent most of "my chips" by that time, and it was time to move on.

Geier: Had you worked very closely with the Washington office of the Forest Service at that time?

Franklin: No, I don't think I went over to the Washington office more than once or twice the whole time I was there.

Geier: Interesting. So people from the Washington office didn't come over to talk to you much either, I gather?

Franklin: No. There wasn't any significant dialogue.

Geier: The other side of that was the IBP, and then later, the LTER, created a whole host of new administrative issues on the Andrews. One of those was the cooperative agreement with the Oregon State University to administer the Andrews. Could you elaborate a little bit on that agreement? Who was involved and what were some of the issues that were involved in drawing up that memorandum?

Franklin: We tried to stay away from formal agreements as much as possible. We figured the less written down the better. You start writing stuff down, people start looking at it and saying, "Wait a minute. You can't do that." I expect there were more documents and things written down than I remember. But the place where this finally really surfaced seriously was about '77, '78, when we basically got money to build the headquarters site [Baseline for site of today - utilities, trailer pads, roof covers, etc.].

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: What was happening then, National Science Foundation money was being administered by Oregon State to build a facility on the Willamette National Forest. So, that required that some things be written down in the form of agreements. It's very interesting that there are some things that probably you wouldn't get away with today, and that, as far as I know, still aren't being written down like, "Who cleans up the mess when this is all over with?" As far as I know, it's not explicitly stated anywhere as to whose responsibility it is to clean up that site. That's what I remembered beginning to get involved much more formally. There was some standard memoranda and agreements between the PNW Research Station and Oregon State University. That was the first one where we really had explicitly the Willamette National Forest, the research station, and Oregon State, involved in a three-way deal. Of course, a fourth institution, the National Science Foundation, was a step removed from the whole process.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: I can remember any number of times prior to that, in the seventies, people asking "How does this work?" You know, "How the hell does this work? You got all these university people down there on the Andrews and they're calling a lot of the shots, and, you're a Forest Service employee and you're spending National Science Foundation money. How the hell does this stuff work?" I'd say, "You know, [Laughs] we just do it." The institutions probably just didn't have us far enough up on their radar screen to really think that much about it. Once you start making a capital investment like we did with a headquarters site, then things began to get serious and we put a lot of stuff down on paper as to what's happening, what the relationship is. But, some stuff never has gotten down on papers where you've got Art McKee as a resident manager, as a university employee. How can a university employee have authority over Forest Service property? And there's no special use permit. You know, Wind River [Experimental Forest], our [Canopy] crane has a special use permit. It's a university facility on Forest Service property, but we have a special use permit. I don't think Oregon State University has a special use permit. Maybe they do. I don't remember us getting one. "How do you have a university person in charge of this? How does Forest Service people spend National Science Foundation money? That's not legal." And like I said, there are some things, as far as I know, still not written down. Like who cleans up the mess when the party's over?

Geier: That's a good point. Nobody's raised that one before.

Franklin: Maybe it's not a good one to raise, because these days you have bean counters out there that are looking down your throat. "And, did you dot the i's? Did you cross the t's?' If I'm right, and if there really is no explicit assignment of responsibilities, just sort of an implicit one, then, they're liable to say, "Hmmmm...."

Geier: Art was telling me he's starting to get signals from the Forest Service, they are concerned about some of these issues that you were just talking about.

Franklin: (Laughing) I'm not surprised!!!

Geier: He's having some problems.

Franklin: But, I had this weird notion that success made all the difference in the world. If you're successful and productive, they aren't going to hassle you. Bullshit. They'll hassle you. So, what success did for the Andrews group was it kept that independent source of funding coming, which has been very, very powerful in empowering that program. There had been times when both the Forest Service and the dean of the Forestry School at Oregon State would loved to have killed that program. "This stuff is causing us grief! Look all this stuff about old growth!"

Geier: Are these problems with the alumni (OSU) and the forest industry?

Franklin: Sure. And the dean hired -

Geier: -- Stoltenberg?

Franklin: Stoltenberg. Carl did not like the research program at the Andrews. He thought it was a waste. He thought that, basically, having a property like the Andrews tied up in a research mode, having all this capital sitting there in the form of timber dedicated to science, was not responsible. And the research program had given him fits. Many of the people that were brought in were not people that he admired. I think probably Carl could have done something to terminate the program, he probably would have (laughing), and I think that's one of the reasons he made no effort to retain me in '86. He thought, maybe, if I went away, the program would go away.

Geier: I was going to ask you about that later, but since you're on that, you moved in '86 from OSU to Washington, didn't you?

Franklin: Yeah.

Geier: Yeah, and the reason for that was?

Franklin: Well, there were a whole bunch of reasons for that. First of all, I'd worked on the Andrews and been the ram-rod of the ecosystem group from '75 to '85. It was a multi-million dollar program by that time. I was burned out. I was tired of carrying all that responsibility. Every time the renewal came up, shit, if this thing fails, there are a lot of people that are going to be going without food. The cost of crises, cost of challenges of keeping a big program like that going, money, personality, just barreling on. So, I decided to take a sabbatical in the fall of '85, go to Harvard Forest and write. I was also in the middle of a personal crisis. I was trying to decide whether to get a divorce or not, and I wanted to go someplace to be by myself. So, I went to Harvard Forest on sabbatical in the fall of '85. Just by myself; my daughter went with me for several months.

About midway through that process I got a call from the dean of [College of Forest Resources] at the University of Washington, saying they had a position and was I interested? And I was. I kind of wanted out of Corvallis. It was pretty clear I wanted out of my marriage. Probably wanted out of my marriage by that point. I wanted to do something different. I had no real opportunity to teach at Oregon State. I had graduate students. I'd just told the University of Washington people the year before, I've cost you millions of dollars in grants. Why don't you just hire me? So, we cut a deal where the Forest Service and the University of Washington would split me for five years, because I wanted to finish my Forest Service retirement. Then I'd go full time with the University of Washington. So, they cut that deal. But I was prepared to stay behind at Oregon State, if the college was willing to make a commitment to me. To move over eventually, to move gradually, over a five-year period, transition from Forest Service to university. It would have been a mistake, but I was prepared to do that. Stoltenberg wasn't prepared to do that. Well, I was ready to move for a whole bunch of reasons, personal and professional. I didn't want to continue to kidder that burden. The group had matured to the point when they no longer really wanted a benevolent dictator. Basically, that's what I'd been once Dick Waring sort of opted out of the program, which he did about in '78 to do his own thing. By '79 he had done that.

Geier: Hmm.

Franklin: Once he did that, I pretty much had complete control over the budget. I approached it on the basis of what the group as a whole wanted to do, and my judgments as to where we had the best shots in terms of, given our talent, given the need to have some level of integration in the program, and so forth. So, I functioned pretty much as the final authority on what the program was going to look like, and who was going to get funded out of the big pot for about ten years. The group had matured to the point where it really wanted more of a say in the content of the program and how the money got distributed. So, we needed to switch to a different way of doing business. One of the best ways to do that is for a person like myself to leave. But we had a very good person that was prepared to take over in the form of Fred Swanson. Fred had emerged as a very potential successor, so I didn't have to worry about the continuing viability of the program. So it just made sense. It's a good time to move on. And, so, I did.

Geier: You're in a quite a different culture at University of Washington that had a long rivalry with OSU. Had you worked with people at University of Washington prior to that very closely?

Franklin: I had worked with them a lot in the days of the biome, because we had to have, to some extent, a program that, even if it wasn't integrated, at least looked like it communicated across the two institutions. It was a very different culture. The University of Washington in the biome days decided to do the standard academic thing which was fund major professors and graduate students. We did it at Oregon State for one year and saw this is not going to get us where we need to go, and we gave that up in favor of hiring some post-docs. People like Jim Sedell, Fred Swanson, Stan Gregory, who could devote full energies to the program; I think the correctness of that strategy shows itself. UW never did that, and they have had a relatively limited history of productive, interdisciplinary efforts up there. I went up there. When I went up there, I told the dean I was not going to try to put together any more integrated programs, so, if that's what you're hiring me for, forget it. I'm not going to do that. But I did.

The interesting thing is that the institution was never prepared to pick up on those initiatives and do something; in fact, they killed them one way or another. For example, one of the creations that I was instrumental in was the Olympic Natural Resource Center, which was going to be a world-class research facility on the west side of the Olympic peninsula. We got it chartered by the state, got some funding, and I went to Congress and got significant funding for research programs there. Well, the politics were such that the timber community over at Forks didn't like me. They didn't like that vision. They had a vision of a Forks facility. After we were about two-and-a-half, three years into this, the dean basically fired me as director of the Olympic Natural Resources Center. And, today, that facility, which is a beautiful 6-million dollar facility, is run by the ex-district manager for the [Wash.] Department of Natural Resources. So, anyway, I went through two or three situations where I created, in effect, the potential, the core of such integrated effort, and it never happened. The crane [Wind River Canopy Crane] is another example of that. So, in effect, the culture of that institution, for one reason or another, just doesn't provide a very productive ground for a collaborative, interdisciplinary research activity.

The culture of Oregon State University did. Perhaps it goes back to the difference between the institutions as expressed in the early '60s when the Forest Service was first getting established on campuses in a very serious way. The attitude at Oregon State was, "This is great. We want you as collaborators. We want you as part of our faculty. Welcome. You need space to build a lab, we'll give you space to build a lab." University of Washington, the attitude was "Give us your money to do research and we'll take care of it. And no, we really don't consider you to be on the same level as we are, so we don't want you on our faculty, and we don't want you building your laboratories on our campus." And, perhaps, that's still reflected, echoed today, in the attitudes.

Geier: Is that both physical distance and in intellectual distance holding them off?

Franklin: Yes.

Geier: I want to back up and take a little look at the decision to hire an on-site manager in 1970, or '71, when Art McKee came in. What were your concerns at that time?

Franklin: Well, we really didn't hire an on-site resident manager until about 1978. We had people who were the coordinators for the research program down there, but they really had kind of broad umbrella-like authority over all of the programs down there.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: The person who had that authority was the forest officer-in-charge, and that was me. That was Jack Rothacher up to '75-'76, and me after that. So, we really didn't hire a resident manager, as such, for the whole program until sometime in the late '70s.

Geier: So Art was hired more as a coordinator.

Franklin: Art was hired as primarily an on-site coordinator when the IBP started, early in the IBP days.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: But his authority was pretty limited.

Geier: And that changes about 1978?

Franklin: Yeah, when I hired him as the resident manager, I gave him a lot more authority. I made it very clear that everybody was supposed to respond to his directions, including the Forest Service people down there. I won't say that was totally honored, but to a fair degree it was. So, my recollection was that it was something that happened in the late '70s, as we began to develop a longer-term program.

Geier: One other thing I wanted to ask you here. You left to go to NSF in '73, came back in '75, and I was curious if you recognized any significant changes in the group in your absence? Had things changed in the way you operated, or the kinds issues they were taking on?

Franklin: Not really, but it did mature. The complement of people had changed slightly, but fundamentally it was still pretty much the same program when I came back in '75 as when I went in in '72.

Geier: How about in terms of interaction with the district and with the region?

Franklin: No, it hadn't changed at that point. In fact, when I came back and took over the Andrews, I can remember we had a ranger there, an old friend by the name of Bob Burns, who really sort of thought you ran a district kind of like you were on a military post. And the tensions between him and some of the more flaky academics, more laid-back academics, I should say, was tough.

Geier: Uh-huh.

Franklin: I'm trying to remember when he left. We can get dates on all this stuff, but the subsequent ranger was much easier to work with. When Bob left, we really pushed on the Willamette National Forest to recruit somebody who was more sympathetic to research and had more tolerance. And they did. A fellow by the name of Jim Caswell. Jim was good. He was a real improvement to work with from the science standpoint. He had a lot more tolerance for the flakiness of academics.

Geier: The forest supervisor's office sounds like they were receptive to your ideas.

Franklin: I think Mike Kerrick was the supervisor at that time. I'm not sure. But in any case, clearly, the supervisor's office was more sympathetic. We were working a lot with the regional office by then and the regional office clearly made their interests known, "Hey, you really need somebody who works better with those researchers, supporting the program." Then the next ranger took over; a, guy by the name of Steve.

Geier: Eubanks?

Franklin: Eubanks. And Steve loved it. When Jim left, we made presentations that we really have to make research compatibility a real high point in this search. And they did. We used to call him the "research ranger." He was really into it. He loved it. He was current. He was thinking up ways all the time in how to implement this stuff, and he was a major participant in the research program. It wasn't a matter of staying inside and watching it. Steve was in there mixing it up all the time. Proposing things. Jim had done some of that, but Steve was just totally into it.

Geier: What's your perception on why there's a change in attitude here at the forest supervisor and regional level? What's your perception to why that change took place?

Franklin: I think it changed because the group [Andrews/IBP-LTER] had become increasingly influential. And some people saw it very clearly as a place where good science was being introduced, it was relevant. Others may not have agreed with the findings, but knew it was a serious player.

Geier: What would you identify as some of the more significant accomplishments of the group at that point in time?

Franklin: Well, I think one obvious one was woody debris in streams.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: That was an early one where it ran very counter to regional policy at that point, but was apparently persuasive enough that the region turned its policies around in a very short period of time. In a matter of two or three years. Some areas they were more receptive than others. When Steve [Eubanks] got involved, we really began to see change, since he was connected right into the community of rangers and resource managers. Changes happened fairly quickly. We had a lot more access. It was about in the late '70s when we began to bring groups of people in. Management teams from different national forests had come through.

Geier: The region did or the forest?

Franklin: Well, individual national forests came through, and the regional officers came through.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: It was also about that time the national forest administration became aware of the fact that they couldn't ignore science anymore. If they did, they were going to have to deal with it in court. So they might not have been sympathetic, but they were becoming more aware of the need to be informed.

Geier: So you're saying more aggressive action by some of the environmental groups like Sierra Club, for example, had an impact.

Franklin: Well, it did have an impact, and not with reference to the Andrews specifically. When National Forest Service administration began to go to court and began to have its own science experts called as witnesses against them, the first reaction was anger and a desire to get these people onboard. And Max Peterson was a commentator, that's why he was chief [U.S. Forest Service] at that time. But very quickly I think most people in the National Forest [System] realized, well, no, we can't control these people. So they better know what they're doing and we better try to influence what they're doing, because there are going to be forces to contend with. So, I think the legal actions of the conservation groups during the 60's and 70's dramatically altered the relationship of research and management within the Forest Service. That created anger at times, and antagonism, but dramatically increased the power of the science side of the program.

Geier: So you were able to tie into that when you were making arguments with the region for better or more sympathetic managers on local sites. Did you consciously do that?

Franklin: No, I didn't use that argument. I used just pretty much a straight argument, "We've got a cooperative program going here. And it doesn't work very well if we're constantly butting heads over issues which are really irrelevant. Lifestyle issues."

Geier: Yeah. I don't want to use up all your time here. Maybe a few more minutes. That issue about lifestyles came up in some previous interviews where in relation to the District of Blue River and the residents of Blue River, the scientists coming in here. I think Al Levno was pointing this out, as they tended to be somewhat younger, and a little bit more in tune with the counter-culture that was prevelant in the '70s, and then just a different kind of people than were in Blue River. Did you notice any tensions or problems developing in terms of relations with the community itself?

Franklin: I didn't notice tensions with the local community particularly. The tensions were with the men, with the district personnel.

Geier: Okay.

Franklin: And, of course, there may have been tensions between the logger types, the red necks, and some of the academics. I couldn't say one way or the another. But, I was very aware of the fact that some of the district people, including the district ranger that I mentioned, just were very uncomfortable with skinny-dipping, long hair, odd hours. You'd see university vehicles parked at the swimming hole at 3:00 in the afternoon, and that really upset the ranger, some of the Forest Service guys. Well, some of those people were going out at 2:00 in the morning. So, the tensions that I saw were really tensions primarily between the district and the academics.

Geier: That's interesting. Okay. One other thing probably is. I have some other things but I don't want to cut into too much of your weekend here.

Franklin: You came up here too, so I don't want you to have you making trips that you don't get a good return on.

Geier: Its been pretty productive so far. I want to get into this a little bit though. Fred Swanson pointed out that a turning point for the group there was the Mount St. Helens explosion and the opportunity it provided to get the group off of the Andrews and into another venue for research. Could you maybe discuss a little bit how the group became involved in that initiative and what kinds of results came out of that?

Franklin: First of all, we began to do that on our own before St. Helens erupted. One of the things I became aware of when I came back in '75, was I was the only one that knew everybody. The group was becoming bigger, 35, 40, 45 people involved, a lot of them didn't know each other, and didn't know what each other were doing. So we initiated a couple of things. And one of them was "pulses." The notion was to take the group away from their ordinary venue. Take them to some other place and get out and live with each other for a couple of weeks of intensive work. And we had done the first of those in 1978. We all went to the South Fork of the Hoh River in Olympic National Park for two weeks, and worked, and got wet, which we did a lot, just working together and learning a lot about each other. And I saw this as, as not just information gathering exercises, but team-building exercises. Go out and suffer together. And also, hypothesis checking. You know, you got these ideas on the Andrews. Do they work in this new system? So we had begun to take ourselves out of an Andrews context and put ourselves in little mini crucibles. Both for team-building and for science. When St. Helens came along, it was an extraordinary opportunity. You just wanted to be a part of it.

Fred and Jim Sedell and I were well positioned within the Experiment Station [PNW] to take leading roles. Particularly, as it became clear that the long-term issues were going to be ecological issues and not [timber] salvage issues. Some of the early involvement by the station had to do with condition of timber, salvage potential, decay, and that sort of stuff. There were extraordinary opportunities we just wanted to be a part of, positioned in the institution that was going to have a lot of control over the situation, and at the same time, also connected to the National Science Foundation. So, effectively what the three of us became were the coordinators, the gatekeepers in the these examples; in my case, terrestrial ecology, Fred's case, geomorphology, Jim's case, aquatic research.

We became the research coordinators for Mount St. Helens. And as such, we acquired control over a significant amount of funds, both Forest Service funds and National Science Foundation funds. And, we didn't know what we, maybe Fred knew what we were going to do. I sure as hell didn't know what was going to come out of this, but it was just too exciting. And so, a lot of us moved our activity up there for about two years. It began to tail off in the third year. We were off the Andrews, but we were still working together. We had two immense pulses where we brought in groups of people for two week periods. Had 150 people in one of the pulses. Maybe Fred knew where this was going to go. I didn't know where it was going to go. I knew it was useful to be up there in an interdisciplinary context, but obviously, what we learned from it had to do with disturbances and how disturbances work. Out of that came the whole concept of; first we called it survivors, then I began to call it biological legacies. It sort of illuminated the whole issue of disturbances and biological legacies and how nature restores systems after a disturbance. The neat thing about St. Helens was that it had so many different kinds of things. There wasn't just one kind of a disturbance. There were a dozen different major kinds of disturbances or combinations of disturbances that occurred out there. So, that it wasn't like looking just at wildfires, something like that.

I don't see that as the first time we went off the Andrews, and it wasn't the last time we went off the Andrews. For one reason or another, we went to Sequoia National Park two times, I think in '83 and '84 as a pulse. And for some reason Fred chose not to go. I don't know whether he thought it was too distracting or what, but again, we really had really outstanding interdisciplinary efforts at Sequoia, stretching our minds and our experience and our hypotheses. So, we did it before St. Helens and we did it after St. Helens.

Geier: What were the origins of the idea of a "pulse"?

Franklin: That was mine. And it started with a need for a team-building exercise. I got people don't know each other!!! That is to say, any given individual might know 40, 50, 60 percent of the group. Like I say, nobody but me knew everybody. And so, it was considered as a team-building exercise. And it's fun, it's productive, it's refreshing, it's energizing, and it always worked. Regardless of how miserable the conditions are, the group comes away with a lot of respect, and a lot better understanding and appreciation of each other. So, it started with that. And at the Hoh it became very clear to me that, "Wow! This is really a neat way to check out whether or not your Andrews vision extrapolates." And, it usually doesn't, but that's great because it feeds back and broadens you. So, and it also became very clear to me, "Boy, this is a way to generate a lot of new numbers really fast." You go out there and you work your butt off. And you work as a team; about 35, or 40, 45 people for twelve, thirteen days straight. You get a lot done.

Geier: Did you have some model? What was the inspiration for that?

Franklin: Well, fundamentally, all it is is an expedition. We used to do research all the time in ecological expeditions. I never had any experience with that, but that's how they used to do a lot of science research. You get everybody together and take them out someplace, and you'd be there for maybe six months. It's just an expeditionary kind of an attitude, and I love to go different places. So, "Hey, sounds like a groovy idea!"

Geier: Had you read about any of those in the past? I mean, what kind of set you off?

Franklin: I don't know of anybody who has done it quite that way. Except my group.

Geier: Yeah.

Franklin: You do have people that take extended field trips, stuff like that, a lot of courses.

Geier: I ran across letters, copies of the letters when you're trying to organize the first pulse. It looks like you were having some problems with scheduling, getting people together in the same place.

Franklin: Oh yeah.

Geier: Was that the most serious problem you ran into?

Franklin: No, it wasn't. I had a lot of power. I was a Forest Service project leader. Had a budget there. I was principal investigator on the major Andrews grant. Had a lot of power there. And so, I had a lot of power to persuade people. A lot of people wanted to do it, and I could give them the permission to do it. The biggest problem I generally had was, like at the Olympic [National Park, Hoh River location], was getting permission to do it, because our party size exceeded what was acceptable for the backcountry. You still have people on the Olympic National Park staff who hate my guts because I persuaded the superintendent to give us permission to do this. It was against the rules. Had permission to do it, but it was against the rules, and against their particular set of values. So, the biggest problem was generally was the host property and not getting the people to go. In fact, the only time I really failed was the time when Fred wouldn't go to the Sequoia. He just wouldn't do it. Most of the time, I didn't have to bring a lot of pressure to bear. It was always a challenge, of course, to schedule the thing, so that you could get maximum participation. We usually did it in the fall, which was sort of the end of the field season. Be ready to quit what you've been doing. And you're burned out, in fact, on what you've been doing.