Forest wildlife and herbicides in the Pacific Northwest

NCASI is distributing Technical Bulletin No. 970, Forest Herbicide Effects on Pacific Northwest Ecosystems: A Literature Review. The authors are Laurie Clark (NCASI), Gary Roloff (Michigan State University), Vickie Tatum (NCASI), and Larry Irwin (NCASI).

This report addresses concerns about the effects of herbicides on wildlife and biodiversity in managed forests with emphasis on studies conducted in the Pacific Northwest. The authors summarize a substantial body of research which shows that direct toxic effects to wildlife are not expected when herbicides are used in accordance with legal requirements. Much less is known about indirect effects of habitat modifications associated with herbicide use in wood production systems. Suggested research priorities include studies on long-term responses of plant and animal communities to herbicide use in forested landscapes.

Appendices in this report will be of use to anyone interested in learning more about specific aspects of the scientific literature on silvicultural herbicides and their ecological effects in the Pacific Northwest. Appendix A contains synopses of 86 studies of wildlife responses to herbicides. Appendix B contains lists of scientific papers on responses of mammals and birds to silvicultural applications of herbicides.

This report is a product of the industry’s Western Wildlife Program (WWP) and its research initiative on biodiversity in managed forests in the Pacific Northwest. The initiative includes several ongoing field studies conducted in collaboration with universities, agencies, and timber companies. The WWP is managed by NCASI on behalf of four industry associations that provide core funding support (American Forest Resource Council, Oregon Forest Industries Council, Washington Forest Protection Association, and NCASI). The report is available at