January 1, 1997.
This paper updates abbreviated versions that were presented at the 1996 Coast Redwood Conference (Piirto et al. 1996) and at the 1997 IUFRO Conference on uneven-age management (Piirto et al. 1997a).
California Polytechnic State University's School Ranch and Forest, called Swanton Pacific Ranch, is located just north of Santa Cruz, California and encompasses approximately 3,800 acres of crop, range, and forested areas. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens [D. Don] Endl.), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco var. menziesii) and tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus [Hook. & Arn.] Rehd.) occur on approciximately 1,900 acres of the Swanton Pacific Ranch and at Valencia. Because of its high stumpage value, coast redwood is the preferred management species. In addition to economic reality, California Forest Practice laws severely limit the extent of stand manipulation that can occur on any one harvest entry in Santa Cruz County. In our opinion, the only suitable silvicultural system given these currently limiting circumstances is uneven-aged forest management. However, implementing uneven-aged forest management in coast redwood stands involves a number of choices on residual stand density, preferred tree species composition, maximum tree size, q-factor, stand structure, inventory design, tolerable residual stand damage, logging systems, logging costs, reforestation strategies, extent and size of group selection cuts, growth rates, monitoring criteria, ecosystem management, and much more. Single tree and group selection cutting methods have been applied in seven stands encompassing approximately 175 acres of the Scott Creek Watershed, habitat for the now threatened Coho salmon. Cable and tractor logging systems were used. the issues, choices, decisions and operational considerations of implementing uneven-aged coast redwood management in Santa Cruz County will be discussed in the context of needed research to support stand and forest level decision making.