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An experimental forest, or experimental range, as defined by the United States Forest Service, is "an area administered ... 'to provide for the research necessary for the management of the land.'"
Size and relation to other areas
According to the USFS, "Most Experimental Forests are large enough to contain significant stream systems and several dozen contain experimental watershed study sites with multiple paired basins." Individual experimental forests range from 0.47 to 225 km2 (120 to 55,600 acres) in area. Experimental forests are distinguished from research natural areas and intensive monitoring sites.
The present system of 80 experimental forests and ranges began in 1908. Many experimental forest are more than 50 years old. The system provides places for long-term science and management studies in major vegetation types of the 195,000,000 acres (790,000 km2) of public land administered by the Forest Service.
- The Penobscot Experimental Forest located in Maine is 16.18 km2 (4,000 acres) and focuses on silviculture research.
- The Redwood Experimental Forest is located in Northern California near the mouth of the Klamath River.
- The Santa Rita Experimental Range is located in southern Arizona and is the oldest experimental range in the United States.
- The San Dimas Experimental Forest in southern California covers 6,945 hectares in the San Gabriel Mountains.
- The Fraser Experimental Forest is on the western slopes of the Continental Divide in Colorado.
- The San Joaquin Experimental Range is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California.
- The Stanislaus-Tuolumne experimental forest is in the central Sierra Nevada in California.
- The Clemson Experimental Forest surrounds the Clemson University campus in South Carolina. The 17,500 acre forest is the largest university forest adjacent to its campus in the country. It is used for research, education, and recreation.
- "Northeastern Research Station - Research and Development - Glossary". Fs.fed.us. 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "USDA Forest Service - Experimental Forests and Ranges". Fs.fed.us. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "Experimental Forests & Ranges". Fs.fed.us. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "USDA Forest Service - Experimental Forests and Ranges". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
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