Collaborative Oak Management in Southeast Ohio

Our interactions and activities in the Framework: 
This Collaborative is comprised of partners who have contributed to the writing of the Central Appalachians forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis, or who have used the Forest Adaptation Resources to incorporate that information into natural resource management. 
 

Collaborative Oak Management in Southeastern Ohio

Forest managers are working together to restore oak-hickory forests in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio, part of the oldest and most biologically diverse forest systems in North America. The project area contains 42% of Ohio’s forest land. Given that 90% of forests in the region are privately owned and the average land parcel size is small (17 acres), restoring oak-hickory forests is impossible without coordination between forest management agencies and collaboration with private citizens.
 
Oak-hickory forests provide important habitat for a variety of wildlife and at-risk species and protect the watersheds of the Upper Ohio River Basin. They represent the major forest types in this region and currently dominate forest canopies but are under-represented or completely absent from the understory.
 
These forests are at a tipping point – the future of oak forests is in our hands.
 
Decline of oaks and hickories can be attributed to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: 
Timber harvesting practices 
Lack of prescribed fire 
Dramatic increase in pests, pathogens and non-native invasive species  
 
Through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, the Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service are working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Ohio State University Extension and others to begin to reverse this trend on public and private woodlands across the project area. The goals of the project are to:
Protect water quality and improve wildlife habitat 
Build on the 2008 Ohio Interagency Forestry Team Memorandum of Understanding by expanding capacity to connect with local partnerships and engage private landowners
Coordinate inventory, management and monitoring of oak-hickory forests to better deliver government services and implement management at the landscape scale
 
For more information, contact the Ohio Interagency Liaison, Jarel Bartig.