Olympic Natural Resources Center

New Ethnoforestry Publication

A new paper was recently published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management that details the ways ethnoforestry, an ecosystem wellbeing framework, and collaborative learning, have been used in the Type 3 Watershed Experiment. Read the full article here

Title: Perspectives: Ethnoforestry, ecosystem wellbeing, and collaborative learning in the Pacific Northwest

Authors: Courtney R. Bobsin, Bernard T. Bormann, Marc L. Miller, Bryan D. Pelach

Abstract: The field of forestry has changed substantially in the last 100 years as scientists and managers have grappled with ways to best manage forests and adapt to changing knowledge, needs, and climates. We believe a path forward may be through using an ecosystem wellbeing framework where both community and environment wellbeing must be achieved to meet ecosystem wellbeing goals. To achieve this, we used a collaborative learning process where managers, researchers, tribes, and stakeholders engage with one another to ask and answer questions about options and effects of management choices. We also propose the use of the field of ethnoforestry, or a people-focused forest management, as the necessary way to apply the input, knowledge, and feedback gained through the collaborative learning process. We offer two examples of ways ethnoforestry is being tested on the Olympic Peninsula through an operational-scale experiment that seeks to meet the needs of communities and the environment, while producing revenue for trust land beneficiaries and meeting late seral habitat requirements.

The Learning Forest

The University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Olympic Experiment State Forest’s (OESF) bi-annual newsletter called the Learning Forest details research and work occurring within the OESF. Click the link below for the latest issues of the newsletter.

Fall 2022, Issue 12

Spring 2022, Issue 11

Red Alder Publication

A recent paper published in the journal Remote Sensing shows a new approach to identifying red alder trees using aerial LiDAR. This paper, led by ONRC master’s student Ally Kruper, can have implications for monitoring long-term and large-scale research going forward through this remote sensing approach. Read the full paper here!

Title: Using airborne LiDAR to map red alder in the Sappho long-term ecosystem productivity study.

Authors: Ally Kruper, Robert J. McGaughey, Sarah Crumrine, Bernard T. Bormann, and Courtney R. Bobsin

Abstract: A fundamental question of forestry is that of species composition: which species are present, and which are not. However, traditional forest measurements needed to map species over large areas can be both time consuming and costly. In this study, we combined airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data with extensive field data from the Long-Term Ecosystem Productivity study located near Sappho, Washington, USA to increase the accuracy of our GIS data and to differentiate between red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) and other dominant tree species. We adjusted plot and tree locations using LiDAR canopy height models (CHMs) by manually matching tree canopies on the CHMs with tree stem maps based on field data. We then used the adjusted tree locations and metrics computed from LiDAR point cloud data to create a classification model to identify and map red alder. The manual matching of field stem maps to CHMs improved tree locations, allowing us to create model training data. These data were used to create a random forest model that discriminated between red alder and conifer species with an accuracy of 96%. Our findings highlight the potential of LiDAR to improve coordinates of individual trees as well as discriminate between selected coniferous and deciduous tree species using LiDAR data collected in leaf-off conditions in Pacific Northwest ecosystems.

PNW HAB Bulletin 

The Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) Partnership’s beach and offshore data provides early warnings of HABs to coastal shellfish managers. Click the link below to see the latest Pacific Northwest HAB Bulletin publication. 

PNW HAB Bulletin

Quileute Tribe Water Monitoring Program

“The Quileute Tribe is gathering and using data on stream sediment, temperature and dissolved oxygen to answer critical questions and take actions to protect water quality in the Quillayute River in Washington. This work is funded with an annual grant of approximately $72,000 from EPA’s Region 10 office under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act.”

Learn more about this local program at: https://www.epa.gov/r10-tribal/quileute-tribe-water-monitoring-program