Home Publications Tree Improvement and Genetics Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference 29th Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference (2007) Evolution of the Forest Service’s National Forest System Genetic Programs

Evolution of the Forest Service’s National Forest System Genetic Programs

The USDA Forest Service National Forest System (NFS) land base includes 45 states that are divided into nine Regions. Acreages total approximately 188 million and are managed within 155 Administrative Units. Seventy-eight percent of the land base is out West, where most of the catastrophic wildfires occur. The National Forests were established in the early 1900’s. The original focus was to provide an adequate supply of timber products for a growing population. The Forest Service began tree improvement (TI) programs in the early 1960’s to better manage the variety of commercial species and capture their associated geographic variation. Traditional activities included superior tree selection, seed orchard and seed production area establishment, breeding and progeny testing. First generation seed orchards were established for many of the species, and second generation orchards for only a few. All orchards would provide genetically improved seed needed for reforestation, following timber harvesting, on the National Forests.


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Author(s): Barbara S. Crane, T. D. Blush, M. F. Mahalovich, Paul C. Berrang, V. J. Erickson, Valerie D. Hipkins, M. Maldonado

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2007

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