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SILVAH’s Gone Wild!

Photo of Pin cherry, (Prunus pensylvanica) is an important source of food for many wildlife species. Scott Stoleson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Pin cherry, (Prunus pensylvanica) is an important source of food for many wildlife species. Scott Stoleson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : The SILVAH decision-support tool has provided foresters in the mid-Atlantic region a scientifically based and systematic approach to forest inventory, stand analysis, and silvicultural prescription for decades. Based on user feedback, Forest Service scientists have expanded this program to explicitly consider wildlife attributes and habitat needs in its stand descriptions and management prescriptions.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Stoleson, Scott H.  
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1169

Summary

Forest Service scientists from the agency’s Northern Research Station have updated the SILVAH decision-support tool to incorporate wildlife values. SILVAH is a systematic approach to inventory, analysis, and silvicultural prescription development, as well as a computer tool for supporting silvicultural decisions in hardwood stands of the upper Appalachian and mid-Atlantic region. It is used by state foresters in six states, on several national forests, as well as many commercial forests. SILVAH provides users with recommendations for appropriate treatments based upon user objectives and overstory, understory, and site data provided by the user. Until recently, SILVAH’s outputs and prescriptions were based solely on timber values. In response to requests for greater wildlife relevance from regional wildlife biologists, we have expanded SILVAH’s capabilities. Based in part on input from wildlife experts from federal and state agencies, universities, and conservation organizations, we have added wildlife attributes of tree species and guidelines for maintaining wildlife values and habitat in the prescriptions SILVAH produces. These improvements should expand SILVAH’s functionality and relevance for the 3 million acres of forests managed by its user base.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Pennsylvania State University Extension

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