Long-Term Ecological Reflections (LTEReflections) is a program that takes place at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and will continue for 200 years (2003 to 2203). The mission of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is to bring together writers, humanists, and scientists to create a living, growing record of how we understand the forest and the relation of people to the forest, as that understanding and that forest both change over time.

The Spring Creek Project hosts writing residencies as part of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program. These residencies are unique in that they are deeply rooted in place. While visiting writers have the freedom to engage with their own projects, we also ask them to engage with and write about the Andrews Forest during their visit. Occasionally, we have invited artists and musicians to the forest to add their interpretations to the ever-growing body of work about this place. If you are an artist or musician interested in visiting the Andrews, please contact us.

LTEReflections Fundamental Beliefs

  • That humanist writers should pay close attention to a particular place—to the mountains, rivers, people and the forests of the Andrews and its environs—because a close study of place will reveal broader truths that go beyond that place.
  • That we should study that place for generations and learn to perceive the temporal dimension—the presence of pasts and futures—through informed observation.
  • That storytelling and poetry, observation and experiment, myth and mathematics are all authentic windows on the world.
  • That there is an unusual richness and joy in the community of art and science, in the coming together of insights from many different perspectives and disciplines.
  • That there is wisdom to be gained—that the more we know about the natural world and the place of humans in the world, the greater our insight into how we ought to live our lives.

About the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

The Andrews Forest is a beautiful, ecologically rich forest and a world-renowned center for research and education about the ecology and management of forests and streams. The Andrews occupies the drainage basin of Lookout Creek, a tributary of the Blue River and the McKenzie River on the western slope of the Cascade Range, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Eugene, Oregon.

The National Science Foundation has designated the Andrews as a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Here scientists conduct research projects designed to span human generations, to continue gathering data and insights for hundreds of years. Like the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research program on which it is modeled, the LTEReflections project will gather reflections for generations, assembling a long-term record of changing creative responses to an ever-changing landscape.

The Andrews Forest is also a site where Spring Creek Project hosts field symposia and gatherings, such as the Blue River Writers Gathering.

Programs and Gatherings

Long-Term Ecological Reflections: Writers-in-Residence Programs

The Long-Term Ecological Reflections program includes two Writers-in-Residence Programs at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. The resident writers live at the Andrews Forest for one to two weeks, interact with the scientists, explore the forest, and write. Writers are asked to visit several Long-Term Ecological Reflections Plots, long-term research plots or other places of ecological interest, and to contribute their written reflections to The Forest Log, an online journal of poems, essays, and articles.


Field Symposia and Gatherings

Interdisciplinary symposia and gatherings at H.J. Andrews bring together environmental scientists, humanities scholars, and artists. Symposia and gatherings have included New Metaphors of Restoration of Forests and Watersheds (2002), Destruction and Renewal in Geological, Ecological and Human Dimensions in a Volcanic Bioregion I and II (2005 and 2010), Exploring the Meaning of Watershed "Health" (2006), and Dragonfly Eyes: Multiple Ways of Envisioning the Future of Landscape Changes (2010).


Blue River Writers Gathering

This biennial gathering at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is intended to be an inspiring and restorative weekend for Northwest nature writers—a chance to meet one another, share our stories, give each other courage in difficult times, and find solace and insight in the deep streams and ancient forests of the Blue River watershed in Oregon.