The northern hardwood research program at the Dukes Experimental Forest in Michigan and Argonne Experimental Forest in Wisconsin has been adapting to changing management and social objectives for more than 80 years. In 1926, the first northern hardwood silviculture study was established in old-growth stands at the Dukes Experimental Forest. In response to social demands for more "natural" forestry, the study included then-contemporary practices (e.g., liquidation of oldgrowth forest) and new approaches (e.g., partial cuttings). By 1953, the partial cutting treatments were deemed most sustainable (Eyre and Zillgitt, Partial cuttings in northern hardwoods of the Lake States: twenty-year experimental results. Technical Bulletin LS-1076, 1953), and led to the creation of an uneven-aged stand structural guide that is still widely used today: the famed "Arbogast Guide" (Marking guides for northern hardwoods under the selection system. Station Paper 56, 1957). Charismatic figures such as Raphael Zon, Windy Eyre, William Zillgitt, and Carl Arbogast Jr. were important to establishing this research and its early application in the Lake States region. Since then, research at the Dukes and Argonne Experimental Forests has expanded to evaluate a range of management alternatives for northern hardwood forests, including approaches designed to sustain biodiversity, habitat, and timber production. In addition, the long-term studies provide new opportunities for larger-scale applications and research unforeseen at the studies' establishment. The lessons learned from the 80 years of research on northern hardwood ecosystems at the Dukes and Argonne Experimental Forests have led to numerous publications and management guides and have impacted thousands of forestry professionals and millions of hectares of land.
Upper Peninsula (Dukes) Experimental Forest
Argonne Experimental Forest
Kern, Christel; Erdmann, Gus; Kenefic, Laura; Palik, Brian; Strong, Terry. 2014. Development of the selection system in northern hardwood forests of the Lake States: an 80-year silviculture research legacy. In: Hayes, D.C.; Stout, S.L.; Crawford, R.H.; Hoover, A.P., eds. USDA Forest Service experimental forests and ranges research for the long term. New York, NY: Springer: 201-223.