In the American Tree Farm System’s fifth installment of our Vanishing Pieces of the Puzzle series, they explore wildlife and wildlife habitat. Woodlands provide shelter, nest sites and food for thousands of species. Families and individuals, which make up the largest forest ownership group, are a critical piece to ensuring this habitat remains intact.
There are real threats that must be overcome to protect this habitat: natural weather disasters, invasive diseases, insects and more. Many of these threats know no boundaries and must be addressed at the landscape level.
A great example of this community-style approach is a Tree Farming couple from Pennsylvania who have taken the lead in their community to encourage others to begin actively managing their land. They have developed agreements with neighbors to combat invasive plant species, and have established partnerships for hunting and improving wildlife among bordering properties.
How can you bring together neighbors or members of the community to have a greater impact in your area?
• Host a group of neighbors on your land to share some of your management practices and knowledge.
• Get involved with your local state Tree Farm committee, woodland owner association, or Extension office and help host events and field days for other landowners.
•Discuss goals for your woodland with neighboring landowners and see if there are opportunities to be more efficient (sharing equipment or buying in bulk) in your land management activities.