Forest Research

The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) is a collaborative project between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry (DoF) and researchers from Purdue University, Indiana State University, Ball State University, and Drake University (Iowa).

The main goal of HEE is to understand the ecological and social impacts of long-term forest management on public and private lands in Indiana and the Central Hardwoods Region.

The primary objectives include:

  1. Develop even-aged and uneven-aged silvicultural systems that maintain oak-dominated forest communities and landscapes;
  2. Determine both the positive and negative impacts of these systems on communities of herbaceous, avian,and terrestrial amphibian species groups;
  3. Determine the social and economic ramifications of these systems in both the local and regional communities; and
  4. Provide demonstration sites and develop novel educational materials and techniques to engage the public concerning forest management.

In study areas at Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests, the most common approaches to forest management are implemented and monitored. They are used to study the long-term response of selected species both in the treated areas and the surrounding forest. In addition, landowners and general public in the immediate vicinity of the study areas are surveyed to assess their attitudes towards active land management.

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