Forest Management in Southern New England
Forest management, or forestry, is the process of planning and implementing practices on a forested landscape to achieve certain goals. Most often this work is conducted by licensed or certified practitioners (foresters), who are well educated and technically trained to conduct forest practices. Practices are scientifically informed and can include carrying out silvicultural prescriptions through timber harvests, controlling invasive species, and planting trees. Leaving forests uncut is a passive management choice. Usually forestry is conducted to achieve multiple goals set by landowners or land managers.
Forests are managed to improve and promote forest health, function, and resiliency. Forestry ensures forests continue to provide their critical economic, ecological, societal, and cultural services. It strengthens our economy by providing jobs and local sources of renewable resources (firewood, durable wood products, and nontimber forest products). Forestry supports biodiversity by promoting an array of wildlife habitat types and nutrient sources, promotes access and recreational opportunities, supports human health, and promotes climate change mitigation and ecological adaptation.
Silviculture is defined as the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis. (Helms 1998, USDA Forest Service 2004)