Thursday, October 21, 2010

Forest Landowners Encounter New Challenges

Invasive plants and exotic insects are posing severe complications for today's forest landowners.  Today we are dealing with hemlock wooly adelgid, emerald ash borer and a host of exitic plants.  Twenty years ago many of these problems did not exist, today they are directing our management activities and costing lots of money in the process. 

Many people think you can simply grow the trees and harvest them when they are mature, that the trees will take care of themselves.  Or worse yet, that the forest is better off if simply left alone.  This is a real misconception, with the global issues we are dealing with today forests must be managed to be healthy and productive.

Many landowners purchase land today that was not properly managed.  They often find out that to turn it into a thriving, complex, and productive forest is going to take time, energy, and money.  This type of forestry is referred to as restoration forestry, restoring the forest landscape to a more productive and viable state.

To read an interesting article that appeared in the Clackamas Review (October 14, 2010) concerning one Oregon landowner dealing with these issues, click here.  These same concerns and issues are part of forestry in almost all states and most certainly in Pennsylvania.  Just a point of clarification, the fact that the property was clearcut had nothing to do with the problems the landowner is dealing with.  When done properly and under the right conditions, clearcutting is a sound form of forest management.

The Society of American Forester's E-Forester (October 15, 2010)

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