This research is part of a 10-year national study. The goal of the project is to evaluate fire’s impact in eastern hardwood forests. Evaluations will be conducted on the role of fire in regenerating oak stands along with a number of other studies that include examination of how fire affects understory plants, birds, small mammals, tree diseases, soils, and overstory trees. Variables concerning all of these topics will be measured prior to, during, and after burning to give a more holistic picture of our eastern forest ecosystems.
There are three study locations in Ohio
- one at the Mead – Raccoon Ecological Management Area and the other two on state forests. Each location is comprised of four 50 acre treatment areas
- a control area for monitoring only; a burn only area; a commercial thinning area
- and a commercial thinning followed by a controlled burn.
All thinning areas were treated during the fall and winter of 2000 and all the burn areas received a prescribed burn in the spring of 2001. At Tar Hollow State Forest the state forest crew conducted the logging on the thin and burn site. The Ohio Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation donated money to rehabilitate the road system with a seeding mix that will maximize benefits to forest wildlife. Commercial logging contractors thinned the remaining sites.
The Division of Forestry is excited to be a participant in this nationwide research project which will give future foresters and biologists a better understanding of the forests they manage. For additional project information contact Mike Bowden in the Division of Forestry’s central office.
Study cooperators: USDA Forest Service, ODNR Division of Forestry, Mead Paper, Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the Ohio Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.