Managing for Forests and Wildlife
Practice Advice for Managing New England Hardwood Forests

Research Issue

Ruffed grouse.

Northern Research Station scientists are integrating habitat management with silvicultural practices in a way that promotes quality forest products and quality habitat for the array of species within the New England region. This long-term effort addresses the questions of providing quality habitat while managing both public and private forested landscapes.

Our Research

That effort has resulted in a number of publications including: “Silvicultural Guide for Northern Hardwoods in the Northeast,” “New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History, and Distribution,” ”Landowner’s Guide to Wildlife Habitat Forest Management for the New England Region,” and the “Technical Guide to Forest Wildlife Habitat Management in New England”.

The silvicultural guide updates information on northern hardwoods and wildlife habitat and includes information on managing mixed-wood and northern hardwood-oak forests. These guidelines assist land managers in choosing the right methods to meet landowner objectives consistent with forest conditions.

“New England Wildlife” compiles wildlife habitat information for 338 species in the New England region.

The landowner’s guide offers management strategies that contribute to wildlife diversity, how to set goals and work with foresters to meet those goals, and project how managed lands will look in the future.

The “Technical Guide to Forest Wildlife Habitat Management in New England” covers silvicultural strategies for six forest types and provides information on both upland and wetland non-forested habitats. The guide helps land managers work with landowners to create forest conditions that will enhance wildlife diversity by providing habitats for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Outcomes

Researcher efforts have produced two updated silvicultural guides for timber/wildlife habitat in New England white pine and hemlock, offering integrated management strategies for two important forest types in New England.

Researchers also have compiled a synthesis of 85 years of northern hardwoods research, providing a comprehensive overview of what has been learned about managing forests in a way that supports landowners and industry, as well as provides for the habitat needs of native wildlife in New England.

Research Results

Leak, William B.; Yamasaki, Mariko; Holleran, Robbo. 2014. Silvicultural guide for northern hardwoods in the northeast. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-132. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 46 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-132.

DeGraaf, Richard M.; Yamasaki, Mariko; Leak, William B.; Lester, Anna M. 2006. Technical guide to forest wildlife habitat management in New England. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Press, and Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. 305 p.

DeGraaf, Richard M.; Yamasaki, Mariko; Leak, William B.; Lester, Anna M. 2005. Landowner's guide to wildlife habitat, forest management for the New England Region. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Press and Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. 111 p.

DeGraaf, R. M.; Yamasaki, M. 2001. New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History, and Distribution. University Press of New England, 482 pp.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Dick DeGraf, USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station, Research Wildlife Biologist (retired)
  • Bill Leak, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station,  Research Forester
  • Mariko Yamasaki,  USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Research Wildlife Biologist
  • Chris Costello,  USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Wildlife Biologist
  • Jon Janelle ,  USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Forester
  • Many others worked to bring forest wildlife habitat considerations into the on-the-ground decision-making process. 
  • Last modified: March 10, 2020