Collectively, small private landowners hold over half of all forest lands in Western North Carolina. Encouraging these landowners to practice sustainable forest management, experts say, is critically important to addressing the effects of climate change, combating invasive species and pests, and preserving biological diversity.
Economically and ecologically valuable, oak trees dominate the forests of our region. But forest experts say that when the mature oak and hickory forests are cut, they are increasingly being replaced by fast-growing and aggressive yellow poplar. Researchers have been seeking solutions to the problem for decades, with little success. A new study in Bent Creek hopes to change that.