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The SILVAH saga: 40+ years of collaborative hardwood research and management highlight silviculture

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Journal of Forestry. 112(5): 434-439.


The advent of even-age management in eastern forests in the 1960s improved regeneration of shade-intolerant and shade-intermediate species through much of the region. However, in the Allegheny hardwood stands of northern Pennsylvania, half of the even-aged regeneration harvests failed to create new forests. USDA Forest Service Research and Development (FSR&D) initiated a partnership with federal, state, industrial, and private forest landowners to solve this problem using silviculture. The partners developed inventory procedures and decision charts to identify regeneration assets and barriers as well as silvicultural treatments to mitigate the barriers. FSR&D training sessions ensured a common silvicultural vocabulary and common practices, later computerized in the SILVAH decision support system. In 2000, the partnership expanded SILVAH to mixed-oak forests of the mid-Atlantic region. Land management agencies in Pennsylvania and several other eastern states have adopted SILVAH. It provides a consistent framework for research-management cooperation, for sharing the results of silvicultural research, and for making silvicultural decisions in the forest types covered by the system.


research-management cooperation; decision support; Allegheny hardwoods; mixed-oak forests


Stout, Susan L.; Brose, Patrick H. 2014. The SILVAH saga: 40+ years of collaborative hardwood research and management highlight silviculture. Journal of Forestry. 112(5): 434-439.

Last updated on: March 6, 2015