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A scenario-based assessment to inform sustainable ponderosa pine timber harvest on the Black Hills National Forest

Posted date: March 23, 2021
Publication Year: 
2021
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-422. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 61 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/RMRS-GTR-422

Abstract

Since 2000, the Black Hills National Forest (BHNF) has experienced several disturbances that have reduced standing live sawtimber volume which will affect future harvest levels. To evaluate options concerning the future timber management program, we conducted a quantitative analysis to determine how mortality from these disturbances and potential growth rates will impact short-, mid-, and long-term sustainable sawtimber harvest levels of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum Dougl. ex Laws.). In 2019, there was 5,995,428 CCF (hundreds of cubic feet) standing live ponderosa pine sawtimber within the suitable timberlands. The current harvest level in the BHNF Forest Plan of 181,000 CCF/yr is not a sustainable option. Over the next several decades, if mortality rates stay below 1.04%, harvest levels of 72,400 and 90,500 CCF/yr appear to be sustainable if all suitable timberlands are available for harvest. History shows that allowing the forest to recover after large disturbances provides opportunities to adjust future harvest levels. Also, tending of young forests can promote recovery and produce sawtimber volume more quickly.

Citation

Graham, Russell T.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Jain, Theresa B. 2021. A scenario-based assessment to inform sustainable ponderosa pine timber harvest on the Black Hills National Forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-422. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 61 p. https://doi.org/10.2737/RMRS-GTR-422