SILVAH: managers and scientists work together to improve research and managementThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
SILVAH is a systematic approach to silvicultural prescription development based on inventory and analysis of stand data for Allegheny hardwood, northern hardwood, and mixed oak forests. SILVAH includes annual training sessions and decision support software, and it ensures a consistent, complete, and objective approach to prescriptions. SILVAH has created a community of practice with common vocabulary and framework for assessing forest stands. Lessons learned from thirty years of research-manager cooperation may be relevant to the work of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists. Managers benefit in at least three ways from participation in the SILVAH community of practice: their prescriptions are demonstrably based on data and science and are internally consistent; relationships with scientists help attract research attention to emerging problems; and they have access to lessons learned by other managers using SILVAH. Scientists also benefit: they have confidence that their work is on problems of high priority to managers; their impact is increased by early adoption of research by managers; the scale and scope of forest observation is increased by the community of observers sharing a common framework and vocabulary; and managers are often able and willing to help locate appropriate study sites and provide in-kind services, such as treatment applications.