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  1. Vol. 16 No. 3, p. 316
     

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doi:10.2136/sssaj1952.03615995001600030025x

A Forest Land Capability Classification1

  1. T. B. Plair2

Abstract

Abstract

The objective of this forest land capability classification is to classify forest land on a basis of permanent physical factors for the purpose of providing an index to the land and crop management requirements and potentials.

It is suggested that all forest soils be grouped into four capability classes. The first class would be the highly productive forest soils, having few or limited hazards to soil losses or damage and only minor limitations to use of equipment or application of any management practice. The fourth class would be the noncommercial forest lands. These would be the extremely high-hazard lands, or those soils very low in production, or those having conditions requiring excessive operating costs, or a combination of these. The second and third classes would include those lands between the first and the fourth classes.

The specific site indices (the total average height that has been or will be attained at a given age — ordinarily 50 to 100 years) or the slope groups that would be put in any one capability class could be different for each forest region, subregion, or individual making the classification. Standardization can and should be achieved to the extent of defining the capability classes and subclasses. The following graphic presentation is suggested as a standard.

Class A1 — Very well suited to forestry; low hazards, minor limitations and high productive potential.

Class B1 — Well suited to forestry; moderate hazards and limitations with high productive potential.

Class B2 — Well suited to forestry; moderate productive potential with low hazards and minor limitations in use.

Class B3 — Well suited to forestry; moderate productive capacity with moderate hazards and limitations to use.

Class C1 — Fairly well suited to forestry. High hazards, severe limitations, and high productive potential.

Class C2 — Fairly well suited to forestry. High hazards and severe limitations with moderate productive capacity.

Class C3 — Fairly well suited to forestry; low hazards with minor limitations and low productive potential.

Class C4 — Fairly well suited to forestry; moderate hazards and moderate limitations with low productive potential.

Class C5 — Fairly well suited to forestry. High hazards, severe limitations with low productive potential.

Class D — Unsuited to economic productive use for forestry due to excessive hazards and limitations and extremely low productivity.

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