Four years into the Ground-truthing Project, Bob Christensen and I helped explore northern Shee Ká, above Shee (Peril Strait). This…2008 | Richard Carstensen | 70 pages
Conifer and deciduous forest types
I’ve spent most of my career studying forests throughout Southeast Alaska. As caretaker at Asx‘ée twisted tree (Eagle River), 1980-92, I studied forest succession on raised former tideland, and post-glacial succession in the valley of L’ux, milky (Herbert River). Later, kayaking took me to the great forests of the southern Tongass. From 1996 to 2005, I was field leader of the Landmark Trees Project, documenting the finest giant-tree stands of our region. And after that, with Bob Christensen, I switched to the Ground-truthing Project, more directly focused on timber issues.
Southeast forests are at the well-drained end of a soil-moisture spectrum. dominating most of those surfaces below subalpine elevations. At the wet end of that spectrum are forests so soggy that delineators map them as jurisdictional wetlands, requiring special permits and mitigative measures. My habitats document, Summit to Sea, treats these communities along with other wetland types.
Even within the ‘dry’ spectrum of forest types, there’s considerable variation in soil drainage, which in turn influences nutrient availability, temperature and rooting depth for plants. Drainage is the principal environmental factor determining both overstory and understory species composition. Poorly-drained forested sites have open canopies, thus drainage indirectly exerts control on light penetration to the understory.
In this section
The Tongass needs 50 athletes with ground-truthing skills, to range the timberlands each summer by bike, skiff, 4-wheeler and kayak,…2018 | Richard Carstensen | 14 pages
The Ground-truthing Project, sponsored by Sitka Conservation Society, ran from 2005 to 2010. Kenyon Fields at SCS administered the program,…2005 | Carstensen & Christensen | 63 pages
In September, 2008, I ferried to Sitka to help Sitka Conservation Society host funders and biologists. In a Beaver, we…2008 | Richard Carstensen | 29 pages
In 2009, after several years of cruising the Tongass timberlands under the auspices of Sitka Conservation Society, I wrote them…2009 | Richard Carstensen | 19 pages
In June, 2013. I got a chance to fly to Teey Tahéen, (West Arm Kendrick Bay), under Gijòok Shàa, golden…2013 | Richard Carstensen | 11 page excerpt
Seeing the forest through a deer’s eyes. Thoughts on forest structure and habitat values, resulting in large measure from travels…
Reflections from our 2007 field surveys of northern Shee, volcano woman (Baranof Island). Covers history of logging in the province,…2007 | Bob Christensen|Richard Carstensen | 12 pages
Bob’s summary for The Wilderness Society. Techniques and strategies. Download here (8MB): 2012 | Bob Christensen | 71 Pages
This info sheet explains how a forest changes as it matures from emerging forest to old growth. Download info sheet…2015 | 1 Page
Interpretive guide to Ward Lake Community Landmark Trees area north of Ketchikan. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees…2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages
Interpretive guide to Ohmer Creek Community Landmark Trees area south of Petersburg. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees…2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages
Northern challenges As you might expect, our highest-scoring Landmark Tree stands are on the central and southern Tongass. But we’ve…
Interpretive guide to Hamilton Creek Community Landmark Trees area south of Kake. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees…2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages
Feature on Sitka black-tailed deer: habitat relations, stotting, mountaintop bachelor gangs, differential wariness of bucks and does. Sketches from Kathy…Winter 2006 | Richard Carstensen | 12 pages
Guide to natural and cultural history of the CBJ, summarizing Discovery’s longterm study on contract with Parks & Recreation that…2013 | Richard Carstensen | 72 pages
Interpretive guide to Gavan Hill Community Landmark Trees area near Sitka. Part 1 is a step-by-step guide to trees along…2004 | Richard Carstensen | 22 pages