The role of experimental forests and ranges for facilitating management-research partnerships: A panel discussionThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Three years after the founding of the USDA Forest Service, Director Raphael Zon and Chief Gifford Pinchot initiated a plan to formally designate areas for research and demonstration. In addition to providing important scientific information needed by the Forest Service to practice silviculture, Zon and Pinchot envisioned that these areas would serve as the "meeting grounds" of researchers and managers to help catalyze, develop, and maintain management-research partnerships for the agency. For more than a century, many of them have served these purposes admirably. However, questions remain about their contemporary and future usefulness. This paper reports on the perspectives of a four-member panel of Forest Service experts on the strengths and weaknesses of Experimental Forests and Ranges. In this panel, we also contemplated their future role for providing information and facilitating relationships between research scientists and managers.