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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9200
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Sustaining Forests

SILVAH - Training Sessions and Computer Software

Research Issue

[image:]  Participants in a SILVAH Training Session conduct a systematic inventory of forest overstory and understory as part of a field exercise in the course. When research results point to needed changes in forest management practice, it is often challenging to communicate those changes in practice to decision-makers and practitioners in land management agencies.  SILVAH, a systematic framework integrating forest stand inventory, assessment, and prescription development supported by regular training sessions and a computerized decision support system, has proven successful in closing this science delivery gap.

Our Research

Research concerning the effects of silvicultural treatments on stand development, regeneration, and wildlife habitat in mixed oak, Allegheny, and northern hardwood forests is conducted using a similar set of data collections protocols and variables.  This allows us to integrate results into the SILVAH decision framework and computerized decision support system.

Expected Impact

The SILVAH framework has been adopted by many public and private forest management agencies, and many depend upon the decision-support software to analyze inventory data and recommend prescriptions.  Initially developed for Allegheny hardwood forests, much of the focus in recent years has been expanding the SILVAH framework to incorporate recommendations for sustaining the oak component of mixed oak forests.  This research has been conducted as a partnership with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry and others. More recently, a committee of experts including wildlife biologists from the Forest Service, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Bureau of Forestry, the Audubon Society, and Ohio State University have collaborated to strengthen the wildlife habitat analysis and make the recommended prescriptions more explicitly wildlife-friendly.

Research Results

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.

Stout, Susan L; Brose, Patrick H. 2014. SILVAH: managers and scientists working together to improve research and management. In Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings, Wildland fire in the Appalachians: discussions among managers and scientists. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-199. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 184-192.

Brose, Patrick H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Horsley, Stephen B.; Knopp, Peter D.; Kochenderfer, James N.; McGuinness, Barbara J.; Miller, Gary W.; Ristau, Todd E.; Stoleson, Scott H.; Stout, Susan L. 2008. Prescribing regeneration treatments for mixed-oak forests in the Mid-Atlantic region. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-33. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 100 p.

Brose, Patrick; Schuler, Thomas; Ward, Jeffrey. 2004. Integrating Prescribed Fire into Management of Mixed-oak Forests of the Mid-Atlantic Region: Developing Basic Fire Behavior and Fuels Information for the SILVAH System. In: Yaussy, Daniel A.; Hix, David M.; Long, Robert P.; Goebel, P. Charles, eds. Proceedings, 14th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2004 March 16-19; Wooster, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-316. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 501

Marquis, David A.; Ernst, Richard L., Stout, Susan L.  1992. Prescribing silvicultural treatments in hardwood stands of the Alleghenies. (Revised).  Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-96. Broomall, PA: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experimental Station. 101 p.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Patrick Brose, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station, Research Forester
  • Susan Stout, US Forest Service - Northern Research Station, Research Project Leader

Research Partners

  • Scott Thomasma, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station, Management Analyst
  • Joanne Rebbeck, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station, Plant Physiologist
  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry
  • The Nature Conservancy, Ohio



Last Modified: 05/08/2020