Forest Management

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Forest management is the maintaining and management of not only the trees in the forest, but the streams, habitat, watersheds, and even the decaying trees or logs on the forest floor. Managing our forests is not only important to the wildlife, but to our future economy and way of life. We need to continue to save the Oregon forests and help the ecosystems within them because human beings are also part of the ecosystem.

By using forest management, it can help certain species of wildlife. Some species of birds, such as the pileated woodpecker, which need large snags to build nest cavities(7). But the worst possible approach to maintaining a wide diversity of species would be to manage every acre of the forest the same way. Any change in forest habitat creates “winners” and “losers.” As forests go through natural cycles of growth, death and regeneration, species may inhabit or be absent from a given area partly in response to natural changes in the structure of trees and other forest vegetation(4). The same occurs when forest stands are managed by humans.

Unless future credible research indicates otherwise, effort should be made to manage a wide range of forest structures. Maintaining diversity would be best served by using a broader range of management tools. Those would include harvesting on federal land - not simply thinning - and increasing the commitment to old-growth attributes on private forest land through techniques such as retaining large trees and snags. As long as federal lands are substantially committed to providing late successional habitat, private forest land can be substantially committed to younger, intensively managed stands, provided critical habitat characteristics are available. The federal lands make up more than 50% to 60% of the forests in Oregon(3). Because timber harvest in now dramatically reduced on federal lands, those lands represent a sizable, well distributed pool of...
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