The Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND) Project is a large-scale variable retention harvest experiment designed to test effects of residual forest structure on ecosystem integrity and forest regeneration at the forest stand-level.

We seek to determine how practical forest harvest and regenerative practices can best maintain biotic communities, spatial patterns of forest structure and functional ecosystem integrity in comparison with mixed-wood landscapes that have originated through wildfire and other inherent natural disturbances.

EMEND is a long-term project that began in 1998 and is forecast to run for one stand rotation, or approximately 80-100 years. The project, centered at the University of Alberta, is a collaboration between numerous research agencies, provincial and federal governments, and the forest companies operating in northwest Alberta.