Report: Restoration Needs Analysis in Nantahala & Pisgah NFs

Ponder, Marissa
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Restoration Needs Analysis in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
An Assessment of Potential Active Restoration in Departed Forest Ecosystems

Abstract: Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are renowned for scenic vistas, unique plant communities, and biodiversity. Within this region are 11 forest ecosystems managed under the 1994 Amended Land Management Plan (LMP). This analysis follows a prior ecological departure analysis of Nantahala and Pisgah forest ecosystems that compared each ecosystem’s current forest structure to its historical Natural Range in Variation (NRV). The purpose of this analysis is to identify forest condition classes that are significantly contributing to ecological departure as well as provide restoration opportunities. This analysis engaged local partners through verifying results of the ecological departure analysis and synthesizing potential active restoration techniques. In total, this analysis identified over 270,000 acres as in need of active restoration, mostly residing within the mid to late closed forest condition classes. This study indicates that there is currently a need to increase active restoration efforts through management activities such as prescribed burning.