Terry Craigg

Soil Scientist, U.S. Forest Service, Deschutes NF


Terry’s interests include soil science, soil inventory and applications of soil science in forest planning. Forest restoration planning and the associated management objectives such as commodity production, habitat restoration, hydrologic functioning, and hazardous fuels reduction continues to increase in complexity. Soils and other resource programs in both public land management agencies and private industry are continually being adapted to the challenges of evolving knowledge and experience in the field of forestry. Much of his work is focused on exploring new ways of thinking about and using soils information in forest planning and management, with a focus on Pacific Northwest lands. At the core of this work are the concepts of soil quality, in particular, the applications of inherent and dynamic soil quality.

Presentation Topic

Soil Matters: Improving Forest Landscape Planning and Management for Diverse Objectives with Soils Information and Expertise

Presentation Description

Historically soil scientists mapped soil resources and prepared interpretations for resource managers. They were viewed as “the resource specialists” who could describe landscape capability and response to management. As the focus changed to assessments of soil disturbances resulting from forest management, the role of soil scientist became one of assessing past and predicting future impacts to soil quality at specific sites. The need to assess and limit soil impacts cannot be ignored, but its dominance in forest management in recent decades has also led to a diminished awareness of the broader value of soil information in forest planning and management decisions.

We present an adaptive management model that provides a framework for integrating soil quality concepts into the planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of forest projects. This approach helps forest managers recognize the value in using soils information to assure that management objectives are matched to soils that have a high potential for achieving and sustaining those objectives over time. A case study of the Green Ridge planning area located on the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters Ranger District is used to highlight the use and potential benefits of detailed soils information in forest planning. Our goal is to help forest managers make better planning and management decisions through wider awareness, understanding and application of local soils information.