Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Garland R. Wells

Committee Members

John R. Finger, Joe Clark


I undertook a case study concerning forest management on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation to assess the effects of diameter-limit cutting practices that are conducted there. Analysis of continuous forest inventory (CFI) data supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) indicated that the largest forest cover type was being replaced by more shade-tolerant species, primarily red maple.

My study objective was to explore and recommend alternative silvicultural systems other than diameter-limit cutting. Solutions were sought that were consistent with the forest cover types present on the Reservation and the Tribe's goals and objectives.

I reviewed the silviculture of the primary forest cover types of the Reservation, multiple silvicultural systems, habitat requirements of selected wildlife species, and information concerning threatened and endangered species possibly present on the Reservation. Multiple silvicultural systems were recommended for use within eight forest cover types based on their silvicultural characteristics. Both even-aged and uneven-aged systems were included in these recommendations, including single tree selection, group selection, shelterwood, clearcut, two-aged, deferment, and variable diameter-limit. These recommendations satisfied BIA's policy of flexibility concerning the application of silvicultural systems.

The ultimate conclusions drawn from this study were that the continued use of diameter-limit cutting would make it difficult for the Tribe to meet many of the goals it has set for itself and that the biological, aesthetic, and financial concerns of the Tribe can be met using silvicultural systems other than diameter-limit cutting.

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