River Concepts and Mack Creek

Jim Sedell was an inspirational force in stream ecology. Here, in a 1970s photo, he ponders a big log jam, asking one of his favorite questions, "What's the story?"

Early in its run across the H.J Andrews Experimental Forest, the Lookout Fire burned into Mack Creek and it still continues to burn in that area. The old-growth section of Mack Creek is a place of special importance to everyone who has ever been there. It has been central to the International Biological Program, the River Continuum Concept, Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), and many other major projects of discovery. Mack Creek is the site that launched our work on large wood in rivers in the mid-1970s, work that changed how we see and manage large wood in streams and rivers. Prior to the research in Mack Creek, the ecological and geomorphic roles of wood in stream ecosystems was largely unrecognized throughout the world. While the sense of loss is overwhelming for those who have studied and experienced this very special place, the deep ecological legacies and inherent resilience of the stream and its forest will shape its new trajectory.

First posted August 30, 2023