Person measuring a tree

Researcher measuring a tree.

Over 85 years of research and hundreds of studies have been conducted at Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Research topics have evolved over the years to reflect the shifting values of the American public and a heightened awareness of the role that forests play in the local, regional, and global environment and economy. Managers of Southern Appalachian Forested ecosystems are being challenged to produce an increasingly complex set of benefits expected from these ecosystems whether in public or private ownership. Developing management strategies to meet these challenges, and continuing to provide historically important values, such as timber, game species, clean water and recreational opportunities, requires a level of knowledge, based on both long- and short-term research that Bent Creek Experimental Forest is helping to provide.

Research problem areas at Forest Service units are updated and revised approximately every 5 years in response to the needs of forest managers, wildlife biologists, and others. Meetings with other researchers, state and private foresters, wildlife biologists, and university contacts are held to evaluate current research and make suggestions and comments on future research needs.

Our Partners and Collaborators

University of Kentucky, University of Florida, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina - Asheville, University of Tennessee, Alabama A&M, Clemson University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, University of Georgia, Coweeta Hydrologic Lab, Daniel Boone National Forest, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and other US Forest service research scientists.


This research is increasing knowledge about:

  1. methods for regenerating hardwoods;
  2. models that predict forest succession, hardwood regeneration, and stand development
  3. classifying the forest landscape for assessment of species suitability, productivity, and management options; and
  4. habitat and food sources for wildlife in relation to natural disturbance or disturbance from forest management practices.