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Southern bottomland hardwood forests occur on river floodplains of the southeastern United States, and ecological processes are driven by seasonal floodwaters from the river. Conservation and management of southeastern US coastal plain ecosystems is a priority in South Carolina’s Lowcountry Forest Conservation Project. The project is a partnership of Clemson University, Ducks Unlimited, the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Lowcountry Open Land Trust, South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, The Conservation Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. A goal of this project is to create and disseminate economically and ecologically viable methods for conservation-based bottomland hardwood management on private lands, including restoration of degraded forests. Southern bottomland forests have been extensively altered by past cutting practices, as well as past agricultural use, indiscriminate cattle grazing, uncontrolled fires, and lack of attention to regeneration. Early harvest practices included high-grading to remove the most valuable stems, leaving behind the poorest. Repeating this practice through the years has resulted in under-stocked stands of low-quality trees in many forests. Four sites have been selected to establish demonstration areas to show people different management techniques that are currently being used to enhance timber and wildlife values. Funding for the project is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. One model of bottomland hardwood management that can be used to achieve conservation goals in the southeastern United States is the system currently practiced by the Anderson-Tully Corporation in bottomland forests of the Mississippi River. The adaptation of this management method is presented here.


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