Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (3.5 MB)

Title: A resource at the crossroads: a history of the central hardwoods

Author: Hicks, Ray R., Jr. Jr.;

Date: 1997

Source: In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 1-22

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Central Hardwood Forest is an oak dominated deciduous forest that stretches from Massachusetts to Arkansas and occurs in hilly to mountainous terrain. It is the largest and most extensive temperate deciduous forest in the world. During the past 20 million years or so, angiosperms have been gradually replacing gymnosperms as the dominant plant form on earth, and deciduous hardwoods are particularly adapted to the fluctuating seasonal climate and moderate rainfall associated with the Central Hardwood Region. As the glacial ice sheets retreated about 12-14 thousand years ago, forests re-invaded the region. Native peoples populated the area and practiced extensive burning to improve habitat for game and to aid in land clearing for agriculture. By the time the early Europeans arrived, about 450 years ago, the Native People had adopted a sedentary lifestyle and their population had increased to levels comparable to that of Western Europe. The first European explorers brought with them diseases that decimated the native populations, and for almost 200 years the central hardwood forest re-grew to become the "primeval forest" of legend. By the late 18th century, settlement by subsistence farmers using European methods (draft animals and metal tools) was in full swing. Much of the tillable land in the central hardwood region was cleared, including substantial areas of steep and hilly land. The industrial revolution in the post-Civil War period ushered in a trend away from subsistence farming and marginal land was abandoned to revert back to forest. The last 100 years has seen an era of exploitive logging in the central hardwood region, followed by a re-growing forest. Human influences have predominated in shaping the present forest and these include logging, burning, grazing, fire control, wildlife management and pest introductions. In the past 30 years, societal attitudes toward land and forests has had a profound effect on governmental policy as it relates to forestry. The maturing central hardwood forest, mostly owned by private individuals, is rapidly becoming a resource at the crossroads.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Hicks, Ray R., Jr. 1997. A resource at the crossroads: a history of the central hardwoods. In: Pallardy, Stephen G.; Cecich, Robert A.; Garrett, H. Gene; Johnson, Paul S., eds. Proceedings of the 11th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-188. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 1-22

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.