Description of a land classification system and its application to the management of Tennessee's state forestsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The Tennessee Division of Forestry has adopted a land classification system developed by the senior author as the basic theme of information for the management of its 15 state forests (162,371 acres) with at least 1 in each of 8 physiographic provinces. This paper summarizes the application of the system to six forests on the Cumberland Plateau. Landtypes are the most detailed level in the hierarchical system and represent distinct units of the landscape (mapped at a scale of 1:24,000) as defined by physiography, climate, geology, soils, topography, and vegetation. Each of the 39 landtypes are described in terms of geographic setting, dominant soils, parent material, depth to bedrock, soil texture, soil drainage, relative soil water supply, relative fertility, and forest type. Additional information includes species suitable, site productivity, and operability for management activities. The maps aid the delineation of stands, streamside management zones, and “conservation” and other special use areas; the location of rare, threaten and endangered (RTE) species; the design of harvests; and the modeling of future forest conditions. The landtypes are an integral element in modeling wildlife habitat, in siting game food plots, and planning other wildlife management activities, particularly on forests that are dual wildlife and forest management areas. The maps are excellent training devices and extremely useful in explaining management plans to legislators and the public.