Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Gary D. Lemme


Custer State Park's multiple-use management plan stresses compromise among resource users. The objective of integration of forest, wildlife and recreational resource management is to provide maximum benefits to all sectors of the management plan. Forest management techniques have a marked influence on the unique wildlife populations of Custer State Park. To provide input for individuals making integrated management decisions, an approach was taken to combine forest stand and soil survey information, to assess understory herbage production for deer and elk grazing. Thinning pine stands will increase forage and browse production. Slash left from thinning and timber harvesting operations is suspected of limiting the response of understory vegetation. Overstory and understory production is dependent on soils which contain moisture and nutrient reserves. This study was designed to accomplish the following three objectives: (1) Characterize predominant soils of the Precambrian Crystalline core area of Custer State Park. (2) Evaluate the understory production of these soils under varying forest conditions. (3) Develop prediction models that resource managers can use to assess understory production in different forest environments. Results from this study should enable resource managers to evaluate the effects of current and proposed forest management schemes on wildlife populations. Coupled with the recently completed soil survey of the Black Hills. parts of Custer and Pennington counties, these results should be useful managerial tools for Custer State Park personnel.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Forest thinning

Slash (Logging)

Forest ecology -- Custer State Park (S.D.)

Soils -- Custer State Park (S.D.) -- Herbicide content

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University