An Old-Growth Definition for Western and Mixed Mesophytic Forests

  • Authors: Greenberg, Cathryn H.; McLeod, Donald E.; Loftis, David L.
  • Publication Year: 1997
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-16. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 21 p.
  • DOI: 10.2737/SRS-GTR-16

Abstract

Old growth is widely acknowledged today as an essential part of managed forests, particularly on public lands. However, this concept is relatively new, evolving since the 1970's when a grassroots movement in the Pacific Northwest began in earnest to define old growth. In response to changes in public attitude, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, began reevaluating its policy regarding old-growth forests in the 1980's. Indeed, the ecological significance of old growth and its contribution to biodiversity were apparent. It was also evident that definitions were needed to adequately assess and manage the old-growth resource. However, definitions of old growth varied widely among scientists. To address this discrepancy and other old-growth issues, the National Old-Growth Task Group was formed in 1988. At the recommendation of this committee, old growth was officially recognized as a distinct resource by the Forest Service, greatly enhancing its status in forest management planning. The committee devised "The Generic Definition and Description of Old-Growth Forests" to serve as a basis for further work and to ensure uniformity among Forest Service Stations and Regions. Emphasis was placed on the quantification of old-growth attributes.

  • Citation: Greenberg, Cathryn H.; McLeod, Donald E.; Loftis, David L. 1997. An Old-Growth Definition for Western and Mixed Mesophytic Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-16. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 21 p.
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.