News Release

New Cooperating Experimental Forest in North Carolina Piedmont Region

September 2, 2020

Asheville, NC — The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the North Carolina State University College of Natural Resources recently signed an agreement adding NC State's Hill Demonstration Forest to the SRS Experimental Forest Network.

The Hill Demonstration Forest covers more than 2,600 acres in the Carolina Slate Belt and has a variety of forest types and conditions. The forest will be added as a cooperating experimental forest – a status that preserves the forest's current ownership and management while recognizing its vital contributions to the Network.

Experimental forests and ranges provide unique opportunities for Forest Service scientists and partners to conduct experimental studies. These research projects are often designed to assist public land managers with practical questions. It is integral to have experimental forests in the different ecological landscapes of the southeastern region. 

"There are some limits in the geographical range covered by the Network, and one way to broaden that coverage is by working with our university and industry partners," says Johnny Boggs, SRS scientist and Experimental Forest Network co-lead.

For twelve years, SRS and NC State scientists have conducted forest management experiments and collected hydrology data at Hill Demonstration Forest to better understand forest and water processes in the North Carolina Piedmont region. One study documented the effects of clearcut harvesting on water quantity and quality at a watershed scale.

"We are thrilled to be joining the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station's network of experimental forests and to be part of a program that shares our mission of advancing conservation of our nation's natural resources. This partnership will provide new opportunities to increase knowledge around key areas critical to the health of our forests and planet," says Myron Floyd, Dean of the NC State College of Natural Resources. 

This cooperating experimental forest will be an invaluable asset for forest research in the Piedmont region.