What is sustainable forestry?

Posted: August 28, 2013

Sustainable Forest and wild lifeWhat is Sustainable.Forestry?

Sustainable forestry means managing our forest resources to meet the needs we have today without interfering with our future generations’ needs. Any management of the forest resource must include inventory and planning to provide the basis for evaluating and implementing the goals of the landowner.

Did you know that a majority of our timber is in the hands of private landowners? Nationwide individuals own about 59% of the land. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative educates landowners on the difference between cutting timber for short term financial gain with environmental degradation and managing their stand for long term economic, environmental and wildlife benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences:

Non-sustainable forestry activities generally involve some form of economic removal of the saw timber portion of a site. In these operations, the most valuable trees are harvested for their worth; while the poorly formed or undesirable species are left to grow. The resulting stand lacks most of the major species common to the location and no thought is given to maintaining the sustainability of the site nor addressing wildlife or wetland issues. Basically, this is a short-term money fix for most that leaves the landowner with limited options for future harvests.

Sustainable forestry differs right from the very beginning. Initially, a forest professional reviews the landowner’s goals and objectives for their woodlands. The forester takes the landowner through the following steps: conducting an inventory of the property, assembling a management plan, and implementing the plan to achieve the goals.

Unfortunately not all professionals practice sustainable forest management so it is critical that if you are a private landowner and you want to sell your timber to contact the Sustainable Forest Initiative or one of the many other agencies available in your state.