Sustainable forest management involves learning about and monitoring how harvesting activities affect both the forest ecosystem and surrounding communities.
Harvest Residue (Slash)
Harvest residue, or slash, refers to the branches, needles and log chucks left over after a timber harvest. Most states have laws regulating how post-harvest residues should be managed to reduce fire hazards. The most common method of managing the slash hazard is to pile and burn. However, there has been much research on the nutrient recycling benefits of leaving slash scattered on a forest site. In recent years, there has also been an increase in the amount of this material being removed from the woods to fuel wood fired boilers in the production of energy.
Planning for regeneration of a site following harvest should start before the first tree is cut. Whether you’re planning for natural or artificial regeneration, there are numerous options to explore and take into consideration.
Most states have Forest Practice Act laws that mandate that a site must be reforested within a certain time frame following harvest. Even if your state doesn’t have reforestation regulations, the economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits are more than enough to encourage prompt reforestation.
Visual Quality Management
Timber harvest operations often cause dramatic visual impacts to the forest landscape and surrounding area — something we all need to keep in mind when planning a timber harvest. Maintaining or enhancing the aesthetics, or visual appeal, of your property during a harvest operation can offer many benefits. Learn more about the importance of visual quality management and what you can do to manage the aesthetic impact of your harvest operation.