Center News


Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH )

An arson fire early on the morning of May 21, 2001 severely damaged CUH's Merrill Hall, jeopardizing years of valuable research conducted by several CFR faculty and destroying offices, research labs, and the WSU-King County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners offices. In addition, the Elisabeth B. Miller Horticultural Library sustained substantial damage to both the structure and the collection. The full extent of damage will become clearer during the next few weeks. Researchers whose work was destroyed include:

• Toby Bradshaw, who studies genetic processes that control pollinator visitation to two species of Minulus (monkey flower); and who also studies the basic biological development of traditionally bred and genetically engineered poplars, of interest to scientists trying to understand the basics of tree growth and, more recently, to others interested in growing and harvesting poplar trees for making paper and other wood products.

• Linda Chalker-Scott, who studies urban landscape designs and ways to enhance their sustainability, thus reducing maintenance costs and the need to replace plants and use pesticides and large amounts of water.

• Kern Ewing, who uses ecological and horticultural techniques to restore damaged prairie, shoreline, and wetland ecosystems.

• Tom Hinckley, who studies how trees and forests respond to natural events such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens and human activities such as logging.

• Sarah Reichard, who studies Washington's endangered plants and whose lab contained 100 showy stickseed plants grown from tissue culture, an estimated one quarter of the world's population of these rare plants.

The ecoterrorist group Earth Liberation Front (ELF) claimed responsibility for the arson, which was determined to have been started in Toby Bradshaw's office. This was the second time that Toby's work with poplars had been targeted. Just prior to the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle, some plants were damaged. In a public statement UW President Richard McCormick characterized the fire as "… an assault not only on... the Center for Urban Horticulture, but as well on the University of Washington at large, academic freedom, and the people of Washington State."
Volunteers clean some
of the thousands of slides
damaged in the Center for
Urban Horticulture fire. The fire,
May 21, 2001, was set by arsonists. Severe damage was done, destroying valuable research materials, offices, and
research labs.


CUH Director Tom Hinckley reports, "There is some good news. Though damaged by water, the majority of library books have been saved. Most of the Herbarium specimens survived with little damage. CUH grounds and gardens are open to the public. All of our programs will continue. Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers have been spectacular in their support of CUH. We appreciate the tremendous help we have received from CFR and the UW, as well as from the Seattle Fire and Police Departments. Hundreds of volunteers have worked tirelessly to lend moral support, carry materials and equipment to safety, and clean damaged library books, slides, manuscripts, and precious research items.
Merrill Hall, south side.

The UW Provost has assured us that the process of rebuilding will begin immediately in order to ensure that the important work of faculty, staff, and students will continue. The state legislature has allocated over $4 million for the reconstruction of Merrill Hall, and the UW's design process has already begun. We have received many offers of help and support and in the weeks to come will know far more about what is needed. To keep current about our progress toward recovering from this terrible event, please check our Web site at

Particularly valuable in the immediate aftermath of the fire were temporary and permanent gifts of computer equipment from Apple, Dell, Compaq, Egghead, and Hewlett Packard. The Boeing Company has provided office equipment and other facility needs. Other generous donors have come forward with funds to enhance the rebuilding of Merrill Hall and the recovery of its operations. Donations may be sent to the "Urban Horticulture Recovery and Enhancement Fund", c/o Linda Kaye, CFR Director of Development, UW, Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100. Make checks payable to the University of Washington Foundation.

Washington Park Arboretum

Master Plan Clears Final Hurdle

John Wott reports that the Board of Park Commissioners unanimously approved the Washington Park Arboretum Plan at a meeting on April 12, 2001. In a letter to the Seattle City Council, the Park Board Chair outlined the Board's recommendations. At the meeting, the Board considered the public testimony and other information related to the plan. After extensive discussion, the Board approved the plan 5-0 with several modifications that addressed concerns raised at the hearing and in written comments. The Seattle City Council passed the Master Plan with an unanimous 9-0 vote. On May 17, 2001, the UW Board of Regents passed the Plan. John says, "Many thanks to all who helped over the years, with letters, emails, and other support!"

Outreach Highlights

• Free public tours depart from the Graham Visitors Center every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Walks highlight areas and collections of seasonal interest.

• On June 22, 2001, New Zealand plant expert Dr. Warwick Harris lectured on New Zealand plants for Pacific Northwest gardens. The Arboretum's New Zealand High Country display, along Arboretum
Drive, features many of the plants Dr. Harris discussed.

Heritage Tree Collection

The Arboretum was named a Heritage Collection of Trees in a State of Washington Arbor Day Celebration held at the Arboretum. Hosted cooperatively with Plant Amnesty, the event promoted the planting and preservation of trees throughout the community. An opening ceremony was held under a Malus fusca (native crab apple) the widest representative of its kind in the state of Washington (67 ft.) The program concluded with a tour of Arboretum trees including a Pinus montezuma (state champion) and Cercidiphyllum (Katsura) (state champion for height). The tour was led by Arthur Lee Jacobson, City of Seattle Arborist, and Robert Van Pelt, '91, '95, CFR Research Associate—both authorities on unusual and large trees.


Center for International Trade in Forest Products (CINTRAFOR)

• Each fall since 1998, CINTRAFOR has held an International Forest Products Marketing conference, while every two to three years, it has hosted an Asian Housing Opportunity conference. Combining the two conferences into one will result in an event with twice the number of invited speakers and exhibitors. Everyone in CINTRAFOR is working along with the ForestCE Program toward a successful combined conference scheduled for September 23-26, 2001.

• CINTRAFOR was awarded a contract by the American Forest & Paper Association to complete "A Competitive Assessment of the Japanese Forestry and Forest Products Sector." The report will examine the competitiveness of the Japanese forestry industry compared to other suppliers in light of import safeguard actions against imported lumber proposed by the Japanese government.

• Rose Braden traveled to Taiwan during Spring Quarter to complete an assessment for the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Softwood Export Council of the wood frame housing industry and market potential for U.S. softwoods in Taiwan. The report discusses opportunities and obstacles to the market and suggestions to improve U.S. competitiveness; it will be available on the Web at in June 2001. Rose also presented a talk on "Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities for the Alaska Forest Products Industry" and "E-Commerce and the Forest Products Industry" at the Interior Alaska Forest Products Conference in Fairbanks, AK, May 7-9, 2001.

Center for Streamside Studies (CSS)

Information Transfer

• CSS organized a stream restoration symposium (April 5-6) as part of the Society for Ecological Restoration's conference (April 2-6, 2001) held in Bellevue, WA. The symposium provided technical information on where and when to do restoration projects. A proceedings is planned.

• CSS sponsored a meeting during Spring Quarter on "Identification of Scientific Information Needs for Agriculture in Western Washington in order to meet ESA and Clean Water Act Requirements." Representatives from local, state, and federal agencies and WSU Cooperative Extension attended the meeting, which solicited information from participants on critical research needs for Western Washington agriculture. This information was used in a literature search to locate research studies with relevance to local agriculture practices.

Student Support

• Ashley Adams, conservation of wildland resources undergraduate, was hired by CSS to assist several graduate students in their projects. Ashley is helping with a literature review of agricultural effects on streams and with data entry for the West Twin Creek project, and is doing lab work for the hyporheic Queets project.

• Jessica Trantham, civil engineering student, was hired to process daily sediment samples collected from North, Thornton, Issaquah, and Swamp Creeks, all in the Seattle area. The goal of the project is to augment a database of Total Phosphorus being collected for Puget Sound streams by Mike Brett and his students in Civil Engineering.

• Graduate student support was awarded to: Carrie Inman (CFR), Jennifer Ise (Marine Affairs), Kevin Fetherston (CFR), Martin Fox (CFR), Gardner Johnston (CFR), Porranee Rattanaviwatpong (Chemical Engineering), Cathy Reidy (CFR), Jenna Scholz (CFR), and Jeff Shellberg (CFR).

Graduate students Barbara Nightingale (Marine Affairs) and Ivonne Ortiz (Aquatic and Fishery Sciences) worked on updating and standardizing keywords for the online riparian bibliography.


• CSS will submit a draft white paper on turbidity effects on salmonids for the WA Department of Transportation. The document reviews the literature illustrating the effects of fine suspended matter on the survival, reproduction, and growth functions of salmonids in natural water.


Rural Technology Initiative (RTI)

SAF Meetings

Larry Mason and Bruce Lippke were guest speakers at the March 2001 meeting of the South Puget Sound Chapter of the Society of American Foresters. They gave an overview of RTI, its first year accomplishments, and future research plans. At the Washington State SAF meeting in Ocean Shores, WA in May 2001, RTI participated in the poster session and organized a tour characterizing the impact of riparian management requirements on small landowners.

Annual WFFA Meeting

RTI made several presentations at the annual meeting of the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) in Kelso, WA on May 10-11, 2001. Bruce Lippke addressed the 200 small forest landowners attending with a general discussion of RTI and its goals in year two of the program. Kevin Ceder discussed the development of habitat suitability indices linked to the Landscape Management System (LMS) software being used by RTI to simulate future forest conditions under a range of management treatments. Jason Cross described a riparian zone model to predict shade characteristics on streams, large-wood recruitment, and other in-stream functions. Larry Mason described techniques for monitoring carbon sequestration to support carbon credit incentive systems. Luke Rogers introduced road-planning software, including visualization tools for the terrain. An RTI interactive educational display included projects addressing road location modeling and riparian zone influences.

Western Forest Economists Meeting

Kevin Ceder, John Perez-Garcia, and Kevin Zobrist attended a meeting of the Western Forest Economists on May 8-9, 2001 in Welches, OR. Kevin Zobrist presented work on the impact of the proposed regulations on case studies in Lewis County, WA, Kevin Ceder presented work on habitat modeling, and John, along with Bruce Glass from the WA Department of Natural Resources, presented the results of a cost benefit analysis of the proposed rules for the Small Business Economic Impact Assessment.

RTI Technology Training

When RTI surveyed 106 Washington forest consultants in Spring 2000, 80% responded that technology training represents an "important to very important" opportunity for their business's customer service success. RTI recently offered five well-attended training courses in the use of LMS, ArcView, and GPS. Larry Mason, RTI Project Coordinator, has scheduled four more training courses for this fall at different locations around the state.

Precision Forestry Cooperative (PFC)

Doug St. John, PFC Executive Director reports, "The PFC is beyond the start-up stage and is generating research results and developing cooperative partnerships. Part of PFC's commitment to partnerships includes its seeking input from an Executive Advisory Board, which met in February 2001. The board provided guidance on research, and we now have five project areas that take forestry to a higher level of resolution. We are all aware that managing forests today is more challenging than ever before. PFC will be looking to seize opportunities and develop new partnerships to address forestry's technical challenges."

The PFC will sponsor the first International Precision Forestry Symposium on the UW campus on June 18-19, 2001 with a field tour on the following day. The symposium will present information on new technologies being developed that will revolutionize the scale and resolution of data. This includes remote sensing using LIDAR, radio frequency identification tagging of seedlings, standing trees, and products moving through the chain of custody, and GPS tracking and control of machinery.

Stand Management Cooperative (SMC)

Spring Meeting

The SMC Spring meeting was held on April 3-4, 2001 in Troutdale, OR with 38 attending from 20 organizations. Students and faculty provided updates on projects, and Doug St John gave a presentation on recent developments by Precision Forestry Cooperative researchers in RFID (radio frequency identification) tagging of trees and the use of LIDAR to identify topographic features under the forest canopy and to recognize individual trees.

Carbon Sequestration Project

A.B. Adams has joined Rob Harrison and the Carbon Sequestration project supported by the Center for Research on Enhancing Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems. A.B.'s specific task is to maintain the four lysimeter installations located on SMC plots at Port Gamble (Olympic Resource Management), Cedar River (City of Seattle), Mud Mountain (The Campbell Group) and Radio Hill (Weyerhaeuser). In addition, six other sites will be sampled for soil analyses. The sites were chosen based on stand structure, soil history (glacial vs. volcanic), and treatment (control versus urea fertilization). The work is being done in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Labs and the Hanford Research Station.

Olympic Natural Resources Center (ONRC)

• ONRC completed a review for scientific merit and compatability with ONRC priorities of research proposals submitted in response to an RFP distributed early this year. Approximately $200,000 was made available to ONRC as a result of Congressional earmarking of PNW research funds.

• Spring Quarter saw the completion of 2.2 miles of hiking trails constructed in the forests around ONRC. The trails were built as a result of a grant from the WA Conservation Corps. The high quality, graveled trails are already being used by ONRC staff for educational and interpretation purposes. They will become a focal point of field studies in a Forestry for Teachers class this summer. ONRC also invited the local community to discover the trails, resulting in their increased use for exercise and pleasure. ONRC is looking for ways to support the development of a high quality interpretive signing program.

• In May 2001, Governor Locke signed into law SSB5637, Washington Statewide Monitoring Strategy and Action Plan. This bill was introduced after release last December of reports from two groups of scientists, one of which met at an ONRC sponsored conference, calling attention to the lack of adequate monitoring of salmon conservation efforts. SSB5637 is an effort to improve statewide salmon conservation monitoring efforts.

• Spring Quarter 2001 marked the second annual visit of CFR's senior forest engineering class at ONRC. The class worked on WA Department of Natural Resources forest projects, using ONRC facilities to support its work.




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