Susan Abravanel

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The students in Mike Walsh's Natural Resources class at Nestucca Valley Middle School in Beaver, Oregon, are learning in the woods. Twice a month, teams are managing their own experimental forest, a quarter-mile strip of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property in Pacific City divided into 100-by-100 foot sections. Their curriculum begins with measuring and marking out the plots, removing invasive scotch broom plants, and marking and taking inventory of the lodgepole pine trees planted in rows 30 years earlier to hold back the shifting dunes. These 7th- and 8th-grader students will develop comprehensive management plans, outlining in detail which trees they will remove from their plots, and the number, variety and location of native trees and shrubs they will select to plant in their place. As they learn, the students are providing the BLM with a healthier forest, and a group of young citizens is beginning to understand what is involved in adaptive forest management.


© 2003 by the Education Commission of the States.