Using oral histories to document changing forest cover patterns : Soap Creek Valley, Oregon, 1500-1999 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3197xr742

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  • This thesis examines forest history of a portion of the Douglas-fir Region: Soap Creek Valley, a 15,000 acre sub-basin of the Luckiamute River in northern Benton County, Oregon. The primary reasons for the research were to test oral history methodology, document sub-basin scale forest cover pattern changes, and determine basic causes of change. Oral history research methods include interdisciplinary scientific and gray literature reviews, archival research, consultations with local experts, personal observations, and location and/or creation of relevant interviews and interview transcripts. Key findings of this research are: 1) Soap Creek Valley forest cover patterns reflect local human values at any given point in historical time (as modified by local nonhuman disturbances and wild plant and animal species), and 2) oral histories can be an efficient method for documenting and interpreting forest conditions, particularly for the last century of time. Major findings concerning Soap Creek Valley include: 1) current forest cover patterns are largely a result of savannah afforestation, agricultural practices, and housing developments since 1845; 2) wildlife biodiversity richness is greater now than in preceding centuries; 3) forest trees occur in even-aged stands and groves generally less than 100 years and rarely over 350 years of age; 4) early historical forest trees existed in isolation, groves, and relatively small stands and pockets; and 5) local people and prevailing cultural values have been primary shapers of forest conditions for the past 500 years, and likely the past 10,000 years as well.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-03-26T16:45:01Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Zybach_Bob_2000.pdf: 8733539 bytes, checksum: ea61d58847f46fedee9288adbf2fb267 (MD5)

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