Who Will Own Southern Forests in the Future?

Forest ownership in the South has changed substantially over the past decade, raising questions about future landowner objectives and approaches to forest management — and ultimately about the retention of forest lands. Chartered by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region and Southern Research Station along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the Southern Forest Futures…  More 

The Calhoun Experimental Forest

Until the middle of the 20th century, forest researchers were mostly concerned with what could be done above the ground — growing trees, protecting them from insects and diseases, maximizing productivity, and regenerating stands after harvesting. It was not until 1947, when the Calhoun Experimental Forest (Calhoun) was established on the Sumter National Forest in…  More 

New Interactive Guide Tells the Story of Forest Products in the South

A new storymap developed by U.S. Forest Service researchers allows users to interactively chart the ebb and flow of forest products across the southern states — and visually tells the story of the decline of the forest products industry over the last decades. Using Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data loaded onto Esri’s (Environmental…  More 

Increasing Our Knowledge of Small Woody Biomass Harvesting

U.S. Forest Service research helped the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests move forward in implementing a new forest plan by setting up studies to address stakeholder concerns about the effects of harvesting for biomass feedstocks. The Lower Cowpasture Restoration and Management Project proposed for the Warm Springs Ranger District and the George Washington and…  More 

Protecting Water Quality in North Carolina’s Neuse River Basin

The Neuse River begins in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and much of its 275-mile journey to the Atlantic Ocean is through forests that are managed for timber. A new study by U.S. Forest Service researchers evaluates Best Management Practices (BMPs) for silviculture operations to see whether water quality in the Neuse River Basin…  More 

Could Forest Thinning Help Ease Water Shortages in the United States?

Planning for the future of the nation’s water resources is more important now than ever before as severe drought grips the West, affecting heavily populated areas and critical agricultural regions. Forests generally yield huge quantities of water—much more than crops or grasslands—but also use a lot of water during the growing season, so some land…  More 

Pro-B: A Practical Management Tool for Implementing Selection Silviculture

Pro-B, a method developed by U.S. Forest Service research, helps make uneven-aged management of longleaf pine and other forest types a practical and efficient option for landowners and managers. A field study by researchers showed that after less than three hours of training on the Pro-B (proportional basal area) method, managers were able to accurately…  More 

New Report and Interactive Map Detail Best Management Practices for States

In recognition of Earth Day, the National Association for State Foresters (NASF) has released a report on forestry best management practices (BMPs) for water quality, along with an interactive map detailing practices in each state. State forestry agencies have been developing BMPs since the 1970s, building a reliable set of standards that help protect local water…  More 

Our Forest Resources: Southern Research Station Scientists Coordinate National Assessment

A new U.S. Forest Service report provides updated national estimates of forest area, growth, mortality rate, and other information, including timber products output. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist Sonja Oswalt coordinated the assessment. “Forests are invaluable –both economically and ecologically – to our Nation’s well-being,” says Oswalt, who is a forest resource analyst…  More 

A Future for Freeze-Tolerant Eucalyptus in the South?

Recently published research by U.S. Forest Service scientists provides important first-time analyses of the potential impacts of introducing plantations of freeze-tolerant Eucalyptus into the South. Eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree native to Australia and Indonesia, is planted across large areas of Asia, Africa, and South America as a major source of hardwood fiber for paper and…  More