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Partnerships

SILVAH

[photo:] SILVAH is designed to help land managers make decisions in Allegheny hardwood and mixed forests.  Photograph shows forest near Little Arnot Creek in Pennsylvania.Forester by forester, the SILVAH partnership is improving private and public foresters' knowledge of Allegheny hardwood and mixed oak forests.

SILVAH partnerships-

  • Provide the forestry community with silviculture technology incorporating peer-reviewed science that inform the management of Allegheny hardwood and mixed oak forests.
  • Provide a forum for relating current science on silviculture.
  • Allow collaboration and communication among organizations and individuals.
  • Build relationships between managers and scientists that improve both research relevance and management practice.

Designed and continually upgraded by Northern Research Station scientists, SILVAH (originally short for Silviculture of Allegheny Hardwoods, now also containing guidance for mixed oak forests) is a systematic approach to inventory, analysis, and silvicultural prescription development.  SILVAH is also 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 6 states, on several national forests, as well as for commercial forests.

Annual SILVAH training is a core component of the partnerships. More than 2,500 public and private forest managers from at least 19 states and 4 countries have participated in week-long SILVAH training sessions since they began in 1976.

Scope

The Forest Service has partnered with many organizations to make this project a success.

Acres of Forest Affected
more than 3 million
Established           
1976
Staff                                    
Scientists who update the
software and present training,
plus supporting staff
Partners                       
11
Active National Forests Involved
5
Base Annual Budget of SILVAH
$75,000

 

Results

To date, the SILVAH partnership has-

  • Continually upgraded SILVAH, which is up to Version 6.2.
  • Conducted training for more than 2,500 foresters from 19 states and 4 countries.
  • Released two publications describing the silviculture behind SILVAH: “Prescribing silvicultural treatments in hardwood stands of the Alleghenies” and “Prescribing regeneration treatments for mixed-oak forests in the Mid-Atlantic region.”
  • Created and posted the SILVAH Allegheny Hardwoods Quick Reference Guide.
  • Created SILVAH Oak Quick Reference Guide.
  • Created SILVAH Overstory Data Entry Shortcuts.
  • Created a community of practice among managers and researchers sharing commitment to science-based sustainable forestry.

Impacts

Foresters managing the Upper Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic forests - the more than 3 million acres of the most forested region of the U.S. - have had comprehensive training on forest ecology and management of Allegheny hardwood, Northern hardwood, and mixed oak forests that is based on peer-reviewed science. Through SILVAH training, managers have also formed relationships with scientists that allow them to influence research direction and gain quick access to new research results.

Lessons Learned

Partnerships among the Forest Service and public and private forest managers have contributed to an unparalleled silviculture tool that benefits forestry in this region. SILVAH is successful because the Forest Service has invested resources to create and upgrade it, and train users and because partners have invested in training for an estimated 2,500 people.  

[photo:] Jim Grace, Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation at Penn State University, formerly the State Forester and Assistant Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

 

“SILVAH provides a tool; that makes it very easy for everyone from entry-level to seasoned foresters to enter data and get a reasonable prescription for silviculture treatment. It’s a tremendously worthwhile tool, they are solving real problems.”
--Jim Grace, Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation at Penn State University, formerly the State Forester and Assistant Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

Partner Organizations

Last Modified: September 19, 2017