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research site 35 miles north
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The 11,890-acre Cascade Head Experimental Forest was established in 1934 for scientific study of typical coastal Sitka spruce-western hemlock forests found along the Oregon Coast. The forest stands at Cascade Head have been used for long-term studies, experimentation, and ecosystem research since then. In 1974 an act of Congress established the 9,670-acre Cascade Head Scenic Research Area that includes the western half of the experimental forest (see map), several prairie headlands, the Salmon River estuary to the south, and contiguous private lands. Direction for the Scenic Research Area encourages scientific study while promoting a sensitive relationship between humans and their environment. The combination of the two areas has resulted in a more diverse and coastal related research program. In 1980 the entire area was designated a Biosphere Reserve as part of the United Nations Biosphere Reserve system.

The variety of ecosystems here are home to more than 350 species of wildlife. There are four federally listed endangered species that either use or inhabit the Cascade Head area: spotted owl, marbled murrelet, coho salmon, and Oregon silver spot butterfly. Two major prairie headlands jut out into the Pacific Ocean. The recently restored Salmon River estuary provides a critical juncture between fresh and salt water, supports numerous forms of life, and maintains staging areas for upstream spawning migrations of anadromous fish and rearing areas for juveniles and smolts. The forested ecosystems include very productive young and mature (150 year-old) stands of Sitka spruce-western hemlock and Douglas fir forests with riparian areas and stream banks dominated by red alder.

The Siuslaw National Forest and the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the USDA Forest Service manage the experimental forest and scenic research area jointly. Research partners include The Nature Conservancy, state and private universities in Oregon and Washington, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautic and Space Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Marine Fisheries Service.

The USDA Forest Service encourages research use of this area. Both destructive and non-destructive research may be appropriate. Limited facilities are available. The researcher must provide funding.

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