SMC is composed of forest industry, state, provincial, and federal agencies, suppliers, and universities who commit resources and expertise to the mission. The voting Policy Committee, composed of dues-paying members, controls policy with the goal of establishing the highest possible technical standards in carrying out its mission. Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) in Silviculture, Nutrition, Wood Quality, and Modeling, comprised of leading scientists, have been created to develop plans for research projects that are approved by the Policy Committee. The SMC has headquarters at the School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, which provides administration and staffing.
The long-term future of forest industry in the Pacific Northwest depends in part on the productivity of the region's forests and on the choice of silviculturally sound and cost-effective management regimes. Large areas of plantations are being established and managed with intensive silviculture. Reliable projections of the results of possible alternative combinations of silvicultural practices are essential for realistic evaluation of forestry investments and for intelligent choices among management regimes. Needed are reliable estimates of response to silvicultural treatments and management regimes, understanding of how product quality and value are influenced by these treatments and regimes, and methods for designing regimes that will produce high yields of wood with desirable properties. The cost of establishing and maintaining long-term research on the scale necessary to build an adequate regional database and understanding is beyond the capabilities of any single organization. The mission can only be met through a cooperative effort of land owners, processors, research agencies, and universities. The SMC was formed to create the pool of funding, scientific talent, and long term continuity necessary to achieve the mission.
The SMC maintains a database on 527 installations in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, primarily in Douglas-fir and western hemlock. The 2011 version of SMC database was shipped in mid-June to all cooperators. Of the 527 installations, there are 166 currently active – 147 Douglas fir, 13 western hemlock, and six mixtures or other species. In total, these 527 installations contain 7,764 plots, which contain a total of 289,323 trees, which have been measured 1,701,354 times.
In addition there are soil survey data, nutrient analysis, vegetation and habitat sampling as well as photographs, maps and and stem section information. The SMC sponsored a large study on the processing of plantation Douglas-fir into lumber and veneer that established important linkages among silviculture, log quality, and value. It completed studies on modeling branch and crown structure and occlusion after pruning in young Douglas-fir. A growth and yield model effort for Douglas-fir stands has just been completed and the SMC has a series of publications and workshops to transfer the latest research results to members.
Five year plans are develop by the TACs and approved by the Policy Committee. An annual research planning process identifies high priority research needs, develops requests for proposals from the scientific research community, and selects the best of these proposals for funding.