Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


William H. Russell


coast redwood, logging, selective-harvest, Sequoia sempervirens, sustainable forestry, thinning

Subject Areas

Forestry; Environmental studies; Environmental science


The effects of selective-harvest on forest composition and structure in the southern range of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest have not been well documented. This case study was focused on the Byrne-Milliron Forest located in Santa Cruz County, where selective-harvest is currently the primary method of timber extraction. The purpose of this research was to determine how forest structure and composition changed in relation to time since the last harvest re-entry, the percentage cut per hectare and number of harvest re-entries. The study design consisted of 100 plots located within the Byrne-Milliron Forest, spanning over five harvest sites. Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlations were determined with Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Results indicated that the percentage cut per hectare was the strongest independent variable, with significant differences found among sites in relation to canopy cover, stand density, large woody debris (LWD) density, coast redwood sprouts, coast redwood associated herbaceous species and exotic species richness. These findings suggest that a lower percentage cut is more effective in maintaining healthy structure and composition in actively managed stands.