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June 24 dedication of experimental forest

19 June 2006

ATTENTION: Environment writers and editors

Contact: Liese Greensfelder, Media Relations
(510) 643-7741 lieseg@berkeley.edu

Dedication of the Sagehen Experimental Forest near Truckee, Calif., as a living laboratory where scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and other universities can work alongside U.S. Forest Service researchers to study forest management issues ranging from fire suppression to fish conservation.

The first experimental forest established in 40 years, the Sagehen Experimental Forest will be managed jointly by UC Berkeley, the Pacific Southwest Research Station, which is the research branch of the Forest Service, and Tahoe National Forest. Due to limited space, the dedication is not open to the public.

Saturday, June 24. The dedication is from 11 a.m. to noon, tours from 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Sagehen Creek Field Station in Tahoe National Forest, 10 miles north of Truckee. Directions: From Truckee, take Hwy. 89 north toward Sierraville. Approximately 8.4 miles north of Truckee, turn west. Follow signs for Sagehen Dedication to the field station.

. Ann Bartuska, deputy chief for research and development, U.S. Forest Service
. James Kirchner, UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science and faculty director, Sagehen Creek Field Station
. James Sedell, director, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Albany, California
. Steve Eubanks, supervisor, Tahoe National Forest

The Sagehen Experimental Forest encompasses the entire 8,000-acre watershed of Sagehen Creek. Since 1951, UC Berkeley has maintained a field station in the Sagehen Creek basin under a long term use permit from the Forest Service and has hosted research on fisheries, wildlife, rangeland and forestry.

The designation of the watershed as an experimental forest, made official in November 2005 by the chief of the Forest Service, commits the Forest Service to long-term management of the land for ecological research purposes. This and the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest on the main island of Hawaii, which was established at the same time, are the first new experimental forests in 40 years.

"The official designation of the Sagehen basin as a land dedicated to environmental research will help us in our effort to foster long-term research in the basin and surrounding national forest," Kirchner said. Such research also can help the Forest Service better manage its forests, he said. The dedication ceremony will bring university and Forest Service researchers together to plan future collaborations and share their visions of the experimental forest's future.