Forest management demonstration area highlights working forest
A demonstration 60 years in the making, the Fernow Cutting Practice Level Study was designed to demonstrate a range of forest-management practices from best to worst. Over time, scientists’ understanding of each of these practices has expanded, and today no one practice can deliver all of the goods and services forest managers, land owners and the public want. In this case study, productivity was maximized with diameter-limit harvesting, diversity was best with no management and even-aged management, and quality and value were somewhat better with intensive single-tree selection. Although structured as a demonstration in scale, the work complements other research both on the Fernow Experimental Forest and throughout the eastern U.S., illustrating forest trends and valuations that were unexpected based on initial assumptions and shorter-term results. These results were of interest to forest industry, national forest managers, international forestry associations, and the general public. Going forward, the data from this and similar work will help calibrate forest growth and yield simulators. Through publications, signage, online information, a universal access trail, and guided tours, the Fernow Cutting Practice Level Study will continue to inform forest management.
Forest Service Partners