An agreement between Cal Poly and the USDA Forest Service regarding the university-owned Swanton Pacific Ranch near Santa Cruz will foster research opportunities and improved methods for forest management.
Swanton Pacific Ranch has been included in the federal Experimental Forests and Ranges program, which keeps records and “knowledge of environmental change in natural and managed forest and rangeland ecosystems across the United States.”
The collaboration will provide Cal Poly with opportunities for best practices of forest management and comparing data with the Forest Service on climate change. Research by the Forest Service aims to predict the effects of farm, range and forest lands.
The five-year agreement relating to the 3,200-acre site is effective immediately.
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Swanton Ranch has a large redwood forest and the collaboration will allow research opportunities that compare data with two other experimental redwood stands near Fort Bragg and Arcata in Northern California.
“What this does is encourages newer research,” said Brian Dietterick, Cal Poly’s director of the Swanton Pacific Ranch. “We’ll be able to collaborate on how effective we are in terms of forestry management and livestock management. We’ve already begun making connections with (Forest Service) experts across the West.”