Principal Investigator: Dr. Darren Miller, Vice President, Forestry Programs, NCASI

Collaborators: National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Supported by: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Award F20AC00018 for $1,439,238), NCASI, and SFI.

Project Summary: The overarching premise of sustainable forestry is that realizing value via forest management can be accomplished on the landscape while providing ecosystem services, such as biodiversity, at sufficiently broad scales of space and time. Although widespread certification of forests in the southeastern U.S. provides assurances of sustainability, further understanding of the role of private, working forests for conservation of at-risk species is needed. The purpose of this project is to quantify the role of working forest landscapes in conserving species-at-risk and maintaining aquatic and terrestrial communities. Specifically, we seek to examine species from multiple taxonomic groups over an extended time horizon in a landscape dominated by certified, private forests managed primarily for timber production.

Species being surveyed include wood turtles, avian communities on managed forests, and Diana fritillary butterfly (Northeast); ecology and management of wood turtles on private working forests (Lake States); Gopher tortoises, terrestrial reptiles and amphibians, birds, aquatic species surveys, and crayfish surveys (Southeast); mussel surveys in western Louisiana (Southwest); pollinator use of forests, red tree vole use of young forests, Pacific marten ecology and distribution (Pacific Northwest); pollinator use of forests, western pond turtle distribution and occupancy (Northern California).

Research is being conducted by partners across the U.S. These include Tangled Bank Conservation, Michigan State University, U.S. Geological Survey, West Virginia University, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, University of Maine, and NCASI, Inc.

Related Reports and Publications

Wood Turtles
Bee Communities
Red Tree Voles


Contact Darren Miller at

Learn more about the WCI partnership