An Overview of the Best Forest Management Practices

The best management practices (BMPs) are proactive and typically voluntary practical strategies or practices employed during forest management to attain goals that concern water quality, silviculture, wildlife and biodiversity, aesthetics, and/or recreation. Forethought is the the most essential  tool that you have to prevent future problems in the forests.

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Selective Harvesting

Proper forest management practices include selective harvesting techniques where only the mature, overcrowded, diseased, dying, or poorly formed trees are harvested. These practices actually enhance forest health because it increases regeneration and enables younger trees to have sufficient the sunlight, water, and nutrients to continue proper growth and development. This process results in faster growing and higher quality trees, better wildlife habitat with an increase in both food and shelter. It also ensures that growth of a more productive and higher quality timber source for future generations.

 

Protection of Water Resources

Timber harvesting can potentially degrade water quality when performed improperly. The best forest management practices are the primary means of protecting water resources whenever forestry activities are regularly conducted. These practices should include conservation practices which protect soil and water resources, two crucial elements which are vital for growing a healthy, sustainable, and productive forest. These practices can include strategies like as leaving a buffer zone of trees next to a stream, installing a culvert to cross a waterway, or growing grass on forest roads to avoid erosion.

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Revegetation

Any forest harvesting activity that removes vegetation or compacts soil will affect the soil and water dynamics. To restore the health and vitality of the forest, it is necessary to return native plants to the land as soon as possible so they can perform their natural functions in stabilizing soil and slowing down water movement. Revegetation is particularly necessary immediately after harvesting since a bare forest ground and temporary roads and landings will start to erode during the first major rain. Replanting the land is a cost-effective and environmentally sound way to ensure forest restoration. Revegetation will also safeguard water resources on top of enhancing the beauty, health and wildlife of the country’s forests.