View Oregon’s Native and Old growth Forests with Google Earth
Using Google Earth and the Coast Range Association KML files you can virtually fly throughout Western Oregon and discover native and old growth forests. We currently have all Bureau of Land Management older forests mapped in Google Earth. We identify old growth and native forest using three different colors.
Red tint: Old growth forest (over 150 years of age)
Brown tint: Mature forest (100 to 150 years of age)
Green tint: Native forest (60 to 100 years of age)
The above sample is a toward-the-horizon view at about 400 meters elevation.
Here’s how the Coast Range Association-Google Earth web site works:
1. Make sure you have the Google Earth program installed on your computer. Google Earth doesn’t come with computer systems so if you haven’t used it you don’t have it. The program is a simple download from Google Earth. Here’s the link.
2. Download the CRA old growth-Google Earth ZIP file at an area page. All the areas available are listed in the right sidebar. Save the ZIP file to your computer and extract the KLM file to the desired location (for example, your desktop). Once the KLM file is opened it will be saved in your Google Earth viewer. Each page has a photo like the one below which opens the Google Earth file. You must visit an area page to access the Google Earth file. The image below is not linked to a file.
3. Once you download and extract the file you will notice a square icon with the Google Earth logo and the letters KML below. With your mouse, double click on the icon and the Google Earth program will open and zoom to the forest area. Once there, use the Google Earth controls to zoom in close, pan to the horizon or rotate in any direction. A horizon view at about 500 meters elevation seems to work best.
4. For most areas we have provided special locator maps. These will help you identify specific stands to visit in person. By clicking on the map a larger down loadable version comes into view.
5. It gets even better:
Google Earth views are now available for two important parts of the Northwest Forest Plan: The 1993 late-successional forest reserves (LSRs) and the 2002 Key Watersheds. Downloading the two files will allow you to see ecologically important values, that combined with our three forest age classes, provide an informative picture of western Oregon’s forests.
Sample LSR view
Sample Key Watersheds view