Public Release: 

Forest service leads Agenda 2020 western forestry research

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station

PORTLAND, Ore. September 30, 2003. A partnership among industry, government, and the forest products industry is working to help the United States reduce its dependency on fossil fuels, increase carbon sequestration, and help promote sustainable development of global economic competitiveness in rural communities.

In 1994, forest products industry leaders created a vision of the industry in 2020 and called it Agenda 2020. A collaborative research partnership also was formed by the Department of Energy and the American Forest and Paper Association to make the vision a reality. The Forest Service joined the partnership in 1999. In spring 2002 the western research stations of the Forest Service--Rocky Mountain, Pacific Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest stations--met to select the group's first research projects. The first annual review of the Agenda 2020 western forestry program was held in Kelso, Wash., the following year.

"Agenda 2020 has a strong portfolio of national projects funded primarily by the Department of Energy and the Forest Service in high impact areas such as biomass gasification, new forest-based materials, and molecular biology," explains spokesman Charley Peterson, "and we have added to that foundation with additional collaboration among the western research Stations, industry, and universities.

This sponsorship has resulted in excellent science, enhanced collaboration with forest industry, and improved relations among the three partners."

Some of the funded areas of investigation include:

  • How thinning and regeneration harvests influence riparian vegetation, aquatic community structure, and water quality in small headwater streams,

  • Managing coarse woody debris for long-term soil productivity in the northern Rocky Mountains and in the Douglas-fir region coupled with climate effects,

  • Tools to predict and manage various tree root diseases,

  • Discovery of genes controlling adaptive traits in Douglas-fir, and

  • Various silvicultural treatments to enhance forest productivity.

"The early success of this program is clear evidence that significant scientific progress can be made through collaboration and hard work in a public-private partnership," says Greg Johnson, chair of the forest industry's western research committee.

Agenda 2020 also includes participation by the Forest Service's North Central, Northeastern, and Southern Research Stations whose work will focus on forest health and productivity. For more information on the Agenda 2020 western forestry program, contact Charley Peterson at the Pacific Northwest Research Station at


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