Mission and Goals
The mission of NWTIC is to assist and coordinate members in developing and managing their forest gene resources in the Pacific Northwest. Accordingly, NWTIC is committed to the following goals:
- Enhancing forest productivity by assisting members in developing genetically improved forest trees that yield more and better wood products.
- Assisting members in developing and utilizing adapted seed in forest regeneration programs in order to provide for healthy, vigorous forests that are sustainable in the long term.
- Promoting the development and sharing of technical information and technologies pertaining to applied forest genetics.
- Emphasizing the importance of maintaining adequate levels of genetic diversity in forest regeneration programs and encouraging participation in local and regional gene conservation efforts.
- Promoting and supporting research to further the mission of NWTIC through partnership with the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNWRS) and other appropriate research organizations.
Tree Improvement Process
The tree improvement and breeding strategies that have been developed for each species are unique and have been tailored by such factors as: reproductive biology and geographic distribution of the species, extent of phenotypic and genotypic variation, availability of provenance test data, extent of parent tree selections, and present and projected planting requirements.
Genetic improvement of forest trees is best described by the tree improvement cycle of selection, testing and breeding in which the genetic quality of a species is improved, and the gains are delivered to the field through gentically improved seed from seed orchards or as rooted cuttings, if feasible. Tree improvement does take time - it may be 10 years before seed orchards begin to produce significant quantities of improved seed for reforestation. Concurrent research is aimed at reducing the time required to complete the cycle, and improving methods of selection, testing and breeding.