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RTPI’s Conservation Technician Attends Silviculture Workshop

Posted on Sep 5, 2018

Last week RTPI’s Elyse Henshaw had the opportunity to attend a training session offered by the U.S. Forest Service and Penn State Extension to learn about the ecology and silviculture of the Allegheny Hardwood forests.

Location of Silviculture Workshop in the Allegheny National Forest.

Within the discipline of forestry, silviculture is a standard management practice in which foresters and other natural resource managers control the establishment, growth, health and composition of a forest in order to meet a variety needs for wildlife, recreation, water quality and timber in a sustainable manner. Silviculture is used throughout New York and Pennsylvania to manage our local natural resources, thus providing both environmental and economic benefit.

Red-backed salamanders make up the most vertebrate biomass in our Eastern forests, and are therefore a special species to consider when managing a forest stand.

To aid silviculture practices, a computer program has been developed to enable a systematic approach to making silviculture decisions. This program, referred to as SILVAH (Silviculture of Allegheny Hardwoods), recommends appropriate treatments based on data collected from each forest such as wildlife attributes, herbaceous plant composition, and also factors in other forest management plans.

Within certain stands, many little seedlings littered the forest floor. During the training, attendees had the opportunity to do seedling counts and determine species composition.

Throughout the week, Elyse learned about various inventory and data interpretation techniques that will enable today’s foresters and silviculturists to better manage our forests into the future. As our motto goes; Learn It, Love It, Protect It!