Clearcuts & sustainability

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Wed Oct 21 03:54:28 EST 1998

In article <70jhlk$4i3 at>, jrm at says...

> I could have sworn that a true climax forest was made up of western
> red cedar, not Doug Fir.

In the PNW, yes.  Cedar and Spruce are the climax species on the west 
slope.  I think Susan is mistaking spruce for fir.  It's fairly common to 
see spruce logs sprouting where they fall.  

The term "climax" is open to interpretation, too.  The long dry summers 
in the PNW lead to a fire subclimax, which clears out the land and allows 
Douglas fir to propagate.  That's why you find most of the true climax 
forests on the west slope of the coast range, where it's wet enough that 
forest fires have trouble getting started.

-- Larry

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