A Place for Inquiry, A Place for Wonder
William G. Robbins
The H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest is a slice of classic Oregon. Due east of Eugene in the Cascade Mountains, its 15,800 acres encompass the Lookout Creek watershed. The landscape is steep, with hills and deep valleys and cold, fast-running streams. The dense forest includes cedar, hemlock, and moss-draped Douglas-fir trees. One of eighty-one USDA experimental forests, the Andrews is administered cooperatively by Oregon State University, the US Forest Service and its branches, the Pacific Northwest Research Station, and the Willamette National Forest.
While many Oregonians may think of the Andrews simply as a good place to hike, research on the forest has been internationally acclaimed, influencing forest management and contributing to our understanding of healthy forests.
In A Place for Inquiry, A Place for Wonder, historian William Robbins celebrates the long-overlooked Andrews Forest, highlighting its importance to environmental science and policy. From its founding in 1948, the experimental forest has been the site of wide-ranging research, beginning with postwar studies on the conversion of old-growth timber to fast-growing young stands. Research shifted in the next few decades to long-term ecosystem investigations of climate, streamflow, water quality, vegetation succession, biogeochemical cycling, and the effects of forest management, putting the Andrews at the center of a dramatic shift in federal timber practices: from industrial, intensive forest management policies to strategies emphasizing biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
About the author
William G. Robbins, a native of Connecticut, served four years in the US Navy before attending college. He holds graduate degrees in history from the University of Oregon and taught at Oregon State University from 1971 to 2002. He retired as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History. He has authored and edited many books, including A Man for all Seasons: Monroe Sweetland and the Liberal Paradox, The People's School: A History of Oregon State University, and A Place for Inquiry, A Place for Wonder: The Andrews Forest.
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