Last Updated
May 9, 2016

Forest Management

There are approximately 100,000 acres of forest on Fort Polk and Peason Ridge that are managed intensively through a compartment prescription process. These forest lands are divided into 60 compartments, ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,600 acres. The compartments are further divided into forest stands, based on the type of timber, size class, age, etc. Fort Polk utilizes a 10 year management rotation where a particular compartment is inventoried and the prescription is updated every 10 years. 

Since there are 60 compartments on a 10 year management rotation, six compartments are inventoried or “cruised” each fiscal year. Within each compartment, each stand is cruised recoding the following information:

This information is analyzed for each stand in the compartment and a “prescription” or management plan is written that helps the Nautral Resources Management Branch (NRMB) determine what actions should be taken on the compartment. The prescription is reviewed by various branches within the Environmental Division and recommendations made concerning endangered species, cultural resources, wildlife, botany, aesthetics and ecosystem management. After the prescription has been approved, management actions are carried out.

While some stands are simply monitored, with no silvicultural action taken, other stands require that some changes occur. The most common is thinning, which is removing some of the trees to open up the stand. In this practice, unhealthy or forked trees are taken out, leaving the superior trees behind. This, in turn, improves the stand, thereby creating a higher quality, more aesthetically pleasing forest.

A recent purchase of 4,900 acres brings new challenges and additional responsibilities to Fort Polk Forestry. NRMB will be responsible for wildfire suppression and timber management on the new tract near Peason Ridge. Plans are being made to construct a perimeter firebreak and to identify compartments for inclusion into our prescription schedule.


Measuring the diameter at breast height
Measuring the diameter at breast height
Rings in this core sample are used to determine age of a tree
 Rings in this core sample are used to determine age of a tree
Using an increment borer and clinometer
Using an increment borer and clinometer