Cascade Head

The Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve and Experimental Forest is situated 136 km south-west of Portland on the Pacific Coast. The Experimental Forest was established in 1934 for scientific studies of typical coastal Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) forests found along the Oregon Coast. Since then, the forest stands have been used for long-term studies, experimentation, and ecosystem research.

Declaration Date: 1976
Surface Area: 7,051 ha
Administrative Division: Cascade Head ExperimentalForest and Scenic Research Area U.S. Department of Agriculture,Forest Service

Human Activities

Approximately 30 percent of the Experimental Forest has been subject to logging and 60 km of road has been constructed as part of research and experimentation on silvicultural practices.

The Scenic Research Area has been subject to varying degrees of human modification from little to substantial (e.g. residences, diking of marshlands, clearing for agriculture).

Ecological Characteristics

The Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve and Experimental Forest is situated 136 km south-west of Portland on the Pacific Coast. The Experimental Forest was established in 1934 for scientific studies of typical coastal Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) forests found along the Oregon Coast. Since then, the forest stands have been used for long-term studies, experimentation, and ecosystem research.

Ecosystems represented in the biosphere reserve are very diverse. Two major prairie headlands jut out into the Pacific Ocean. The recently restored Salmon River estuary provides a critical juncture between fresh and salt water and maintains staging areas for upstream spawning migrations of anadromous fish and rearing areas for juveniles and smolts.

The forested ecosystems include very productive young and mature (150 year-old) stands of Sitka spruce-western hemlock and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests with riparian areas and stream banks dominated by red alder. Spotted owl, marbled murrelet, coho salmon and Oregon silver spot butterfly are four federally listed endangered species that occur in the biosphere reserve.


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                                                                                      Last updated : May 2012

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