Writings by Andrea Watts

Articles on sustainable forestry, agriculture, and other topics



Predicting Douglas-Fir’s Response to a Warming Climate

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Findings
November 2015

Douglas-fir is an iconic tree in the Pacific Northwest. Although individual trees may appear to be identical, genetic differences within each tree have resulted from adaptation to the local environment. These genetic differences over time have resulted in differences among populations that are important to the species’ survival and growth in changing climates.

Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station tested how seedlings from different populations of Douglas-fir would grow in temperature and precipitation conditions unlike the climate of their current seed source. Read more…

Using forest knowledge: how silviculture can benefit from ecological knowledge systems about beargrass harvesting sites

U.S. Pacific Northwest Research Station Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-912

Sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of national forests and grasslands is the mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. Yet managing these lands is challenging because people hold different expectations for them. Public uses can include:
• Recreation (scenery, trails, bicycle and snowmobile routes)
• Timber (structural, decorative, manufactured wood products) and wood-based energy (biomass)
• Nontimber forest products (foods, fibers, medicines)
• Sustaining or restoring natural processes (water, nutrient cycles)
• Preserving cultural and natural history (archaeological or other sites)

This booklet describes how knowledge gained from a tri-state study of good harvesting sites of a popular forest understory plant can contribute to local silvicultural decisions about tree density and levels of down wood. Read more…

Cross-Laminated Timber: the Future of Building?

Seattle Business
June 2015

It’s strong enough to build high-rises; can it revive a legacy Northwest industry? Read more…

Selling a new vision of forestry to the public

January/February 2015

Vashon Forest Stewards is selling a new vision of forestry to the public. Read more…

Productivity and Safety Go Hand in Hand

November/December 2014

Sevier Logging based out of Olympia, Wash., focuses on high production and safe practices. Read more…

Fingerprints of a forest fungus: Swiss needle cast, carbon isotopes, carbohydrates, and growth in Douglas-fir

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Findings
November 2014

Swiss needle cast is caused by a fungus native to the Pacific Northwest. Its host is Douglas-fir, an iconic evergreen tree in the region. The fungus does not kill its host, but it adversely affects the tree’s growth. Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and their collaborators conducted a study to learn how Douglas-fir survive even when exhibiting severe Swiss needle cast symptoms. Read more…

Assisted Migration: Growing Forests Adapted to the Future

The Forestry Source
January 2014

Of the management strategies available to create resilient, productive forests in a changing climate, assisted migration is one strategy that is prompting much discussion within the forestry community. Assisted migration is viewed as a proactive strategy because many tree species do not have the ability to adapt or migrate naturally at the same rate as the climate is expected to change. This mismatch between trees and their environment could result in forests that are less productive and unhealthy. Read more…

The Challenges of Active Forest Management in an Ecological Reserve

The Forestry Source
September 2013

When your Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) requires an accelerated development of a second-growth forest into a late-successional forest, that’s a tall order to carry out especially when there isn’t an established silvilculture prescription to create such a forest structure. And when your prescriptions call for thinning in a landscape that is designated as an ecological reserve and your stakeholders – who include the state’s Sierra Club chapter, the City Council, the tribes, and the public – support your management strategy, you must be doing something right. Read more…

The Many Faces of the University of Washington’s Pack Forest

May/June 2013

When you visit the Charles L. Pack Experimental Forest, you are not just taking a walk through a forest, you’re seeing sustainability in action. Through spacing trials, selection thinning, fertilizer treatments, and ecosystem-value services research, the Center of Sustainable Forestry demonstrates that sustainability and active forest management are not mutually exclusive. Read more …

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