Department of Forestry
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Adaptive Management

A 90-year-old shortleaf pine stand in Davis Hollow has been favored by a past commercial thinning. It is an even-aged, old field standing with a history of fire; however, most of the harvests on the Forest prior to 1984 have been single tree and group selection. This has led to a decrease in certain tree species, shortleaf pine being one.

We now understand that a pre-European settlement, Native American fire use and agricultural practices resulted in landscapes of varied vegetation cover, including even-aged stands, and favored pyrophytes like shortleaf pine, oaks and chestnut. To some extent, early (pre-industrial) settlement practices of fire use and land clearing gave similar results. Selection harvests (and fire protection) have discriminated against such conditions. Even-aged silviculture and control of shade tolerant species is currently being used to restore such communities. Prescribed fire has not been used, but is being considered for future management. Limited restoration of grassland (prairie, savanna, etc.) communities is also being done.

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