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Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREXAuthor(s): Chris B. LeDoux
Source: In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 26-35
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionPrecommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes can be beneficial to a wide array of wildlife species, they also can alter the site such that some wildlife species that were once abundant will no longer find the site suitable. In this paper, FOREX is used to demonstrate how managers, loggers, and planners can evaluate the impact of proposed harvest treatments on wildlife habitat suitability. FOREX is an integrated expert system that explicitly considers the potential growth and yield of a stand, wood products and their development over time, the logging technology needed for harvests scheduled, the economic and market factors involved, and the impacts on wildlife habitat. Initial results suggest that a series of light thinnings can provide positive cash flows to the landowner and meet the habitat needs for many species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals for a long period of time. The results also show that removing all the downed, dead woody material from the forest floor is detrimental to many species of wildlife, and that the final harvest has the most impact on wildlife habitat suitability.
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CitationLeDoux, Chris B. 1997. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX. In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 26-35
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