Forestry Program
How does the PBA Forestry Program work?

The Arsenal is broken into five compartments. On an annually basis, one compartment is considered for timber stand improvements. A timber stand improvement can include the harvest of trees, prescribed burns, or sometimes to simply to do nothing. It all depends on the management objectives that have been set for that tract of timber.

Here at PBA a number of things are taken into consideration when it comes to achieving sustainable forest and grassland areas. Some of those considerations include:

  1. Does this forest prescription meet our military mission goals?
  2. Are there any restrictions on the use on types of equipment, chemicals or management techniques that may be used?
  3. Will I disturb a significant Cultural Resource?
  4. Will slope or soil types cause soil erosion issues?
  5. Has the average speed of tree growth in this stand begun to slow due to tree age or canopy closure?
  6. What competition to desired tree species is there by less desirable or invasive species?
  7. Can I make a healthier stand of timber while enhancing the wildlife value of the stands?
  8. Current timber market prices?
FY 2011 Scheduled Timber Harvest
Timber Market

Timber market prices also weigh in on the ability to contract out timber harvest. To put it plainly, sometimes it’s just not worth contractor’s efforts to remove small amounts of timber from a tract. When the value of the wood is low a contractor must cut a larger quantity of it to make a profit. So, the question is how much timber has to come available for harvest to make it worth a contractor’s efforts, well that fluctuates. The market value for timber is what drives the answer to that question.

How much timber is on the Pine Bluff Arsenal

The Department of Defense requires that installations have their timber evaluated every ten years. The last time that the Arsenal’s timber was evaluated was 1997. The Pine Bluff Arsenal is having its timber cruised in 2012. This will determine wood volumes and allow for estimated monetary value based on current market values.