Date of Award

Fall 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Forestry

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Theodore Howard


New England has 32 million acres of forested land, 27.5 million acres are private and 13.5 million of those private forests are family owned. Two of the main landowner objectives of privately owned forests in New England are generating income and promoting biodiversity and nature. Objectives were to develop a rapid ecological assessment method to aid management of private forests and to determine any trade-offs between economic and ecological values. We measured economic and ecological values in our study site in New Hampshire, and simulated four harvest treatments to determine the effects of different silvicultural approaches. Ecological values were measured from individual tree characteristics. Crown thinning harvests and regeneration shelterwood harvests improved biodiversity and average ecological value. Diameter limit harvests lowered the average economic and ecological score while ecologically-focused harvests had the opposite results. We concluded that there were few to no trade-offs between economic and ecological values.