Upland hardwood forest types are .by far the most widespread in the United States. Stands of the oak-hickory forest type alone include 109 million acres, 23 percent of the Nation's commercial timberland (U.S. Forest Service 1982) . Many even-aged upland hardwood stands developed on nonindustrial private lands through hardwood invasion after pine stands were harvested. In 1973, half of the hardwood timber in the South was determined to be on upland sites which formerly supported pine stands (Murphy and Knight 1974). Many nonindustrial private landowners passively permit the biologically better adapted hardwoods to increase after the harvest of pines. These landowners may be pursuing their best interests as perceived through prevailing social and economic conditions (Boyce and Knight 1980). The resulting even-aged hardwood stands are often poorly stocked and consist of mixed-species with differential growth rat.es. Rates of return to landowners are typically low from even-aged upland hardwoods. These stands can often be converted to higher return softwood forest t.ypes but landowners frequently reject the investment because O."L' the high costs and long time periods involved. Past market conditions favored the production of higher quality hardwood l 2 products but prospects ·are good for expanded market opportunities for lower grade hardwood raw materials. These new or expanded market opportunities should improve the future profitability of currently low value upland hardwoods and provide more economic incentives for active forest management. Partial harvests are particularly attractive forest management activities for most landowners because of the returns generated. Past studies have applied mathematical programming techniques to the optimization of harvest schedules in softwood stands. Stand-level hardwood harvesting models designed to optimize economic objectives, however, may depend on different relationships than softwood models, e.g. , the relationships between stumpage price and stem quality may be more pronounced for hardwood stands. This study will mathematical focus on programming the to theory and the problem application of of optimizing harvests over time in mixed-species, even-aged upland hardwoods. Operations research methods and mathematical programming techniques have been developed as analytical tools in management science. Several studies have been done in the area of stand-level softwood harvest schedules but little application of these powerful tools has been made to the problem of hardwood harvest scheduling.
Bullard, Steven H., "Mixed-hardwood thinning optimization" (1983). Faculty Publications. 153.