Southern Pine Silviculture Training at the Crossett Experimental Forest

Participants at 2012 NASP training on southern pines silviculture. Photo by USDA Forest Service.

In June, the Southern Research Station (SRS) and the Forest Service Southern Region jointly hosted the two-week Southern Pine module for the National Advanced Silviculture Program (NASP) at the Crossett Experimental Forest in Ashley County, Arkansas. The silviculture certification program for the Forest Service, NASP consists of four core training modules led by academic institutions, and a fifth local area module developed specifically for expertise in regional forest types.

Jim Guldin, project Leader for SRS Ecology and Management of Southern Pines unit, coordinated the local session on southern pines with Southern Region silviculturist Bob Makowski. The two-week session included presentations on a host of topics from 18 experts from Forest Service Research and Development, State and Private Forestry, the Southern Region, and academia.

Silvicultural practices for loblolly and shortleaf pine were emphasized at the Crossett Experimental Forest, where field tours included many of the long-term studies on the site, such as the Reynolds Natural Area, which was last cut before 1920, and the uneven-aged Good and Poor Farm Forty Forestry demonstrations that date back to 1937. “These last were most recently harvested last year,” said Guldin. “They represent an archetypal example of long-term sustainability in managed forest stands and demonstrate the importance of the long-term research conducted on Forest Service experimental forests.”

The group also met with experts from the local office of Plum Creek Timber Company to study their advanced approach to intensive pine plantation silviculture on company lands. The session included a two-day “road trip” to the SRS Alexandria Forestry Center in Pineville, Louisiana (part of the SRS Restoring and Managing Longleaf Pine Ecosystems unit) where students got a detailed look at silvicultural practices for longleaf pine on the Catahoula Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest.

“Overall, the session exemplified the value of putting boots on the ground to ensure that professionals in the field obtain the quality and rigor of advanced silvicultural certification they need to advance the agency’s goals of managing healthy, diverse, productive, and sustainable forest ecosystems,” said Guldin.

Additional Resources

Baker, James B.; Cain, Michael D.; Guldin, James M.; et al. 1996. Uneven-aged silviculture for the loblolly and shortleaf pine forest cover types. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-118. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 65 p.

Guldin, James M. 2011. Experience with the selection method in pine stands in the southern United States, with implications for future application. Forestry 84(5):539-546.

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