Ecological classification and management characteristics of montane forest land in southwestern Washington.
Vegetation, soil, and site data werecollectedthroughout the forested portion of the Pacific silver fir and mountain hemlock zones of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as part of the Forest Service program to develop anecoIogicallybasedplant association classification system for the Pacific Northwest Region. The major objective of sampling was to include a wide variety of long-term stable communities and aggregate those of similar ecological characteristics into associations which would respond in similar fashion to various management manipulations. Analysis of data collected from over 300 study plots indicated the presence of 14 associations representative of the pronounced temperature and moisture gradients characteristic of the Cascade Range. Among the management considerations which could be related to environmental conditions in each association were soil compactability, nutrient availability,susceptability to fire damage, drought, growing season frost, snow pack, competition, gopher problems, optimum reproduction methods, tree species suitability for reforestation and timber productivity.