In 1999 we began to develop and use a simple set of indicators for tracking the changing conditions of Hyla Woods. It has grown into the Tracking Forest Health monitoring program. We continue to expand and use the program because we believe that it is important to back up our commitment to growing ecologically complex forests with a system for tracking results. From our beginnings with annual bird counts, the program has expanded to include indicators focused on amphibians, creek temperatures, and creek invertebrates. Research and development is underway for indicators linked to fungi, snags and downed wood, invasive plants, disease, lichen, and bats.
- Designed to encourage long term involvement
- Scientifically sound
- Draws together diverse people with diverse expertise
- Links data collection, data storage, and analysis in ways that build new knowledge which is useful on multiple scales
A key part of the program’s success has been active partnership with a committed and energetic mix of people and organizations, including:
Northwest Ecological Research Institute, Portland Audubon, Pacific University, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University and its extension programs, and Oregon Small Woodlands Association. Special thanks are owed to Char Corkran for her work with all aspects of the program.
There are continuing conversations about the value of expanding the program to encourage and support monitoring by other forest owners. Let us know if you would like additional information, or, better yet, if you would like to help out! Our Monitoring Plan and Ecoassessment documents are available in the Archives section of this website.