Nearly three-quarters of Pennsylvania's 17 million forested acres is in the hands of private forest landowners. The need in Pennsylvania for forest stewardship--for wise management and use--is pressing. Well-planned harvests that consider all forest values can meet the demand for Pennsylvania timber and sustain forests for the future. This article offers an overview of forest stewardship, a way for forest landowners to learn to be better stewards of their land and avoid costly or resource-damaging mistakes.
A woodland can be managed for a variety of benefits, including timber, wildlife, recreation, and soil and water conservation. Many sources of information are readily available to help forest landowners achieve their management objectives. This publication describes stewardship-related services offered to private woodland owners by public agencies and private organizations in Pennsylvania.
As we begin the twenty-first century, more and more land is being developed for urban and suburban residences, businesses, utilities, and other structures. Unplanned growth is threatening our land resources, and proper management of our natural resources, particularly forests, is a pressing need. To establish a tradition of forest stewardship for future generations, it is important to involve young people and provide them with information about responsible land management. This publication is intended for parents, educators, and other adults who are interested in teaching youth about forest stewardship.
Stewardship draws on various disciplines, including ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, and even recreation. Some of the terms used in discussions of forest stewardship may be unfamiliar to you. The descriptions found here will help you better understand forest stewardship practices and aid in communications between you and natural resource managers.
Wildlife is an integral part of any healthy forest community. Forests provide food and shelter for numerous wildlife species. In return, many of these species aid in seed dispersal, forest pest control, and many other ecological tasks that perpetuate healthy forests. Stewardship involves managing your forest so that populations of native species of wildlife persist for future generations. No matter how large or small your forest is, you can make a difference. The information provided will provide you with the basic knowledge you will need to begin wildlife stewardship on your property.
Planning helps people focus their ideas so they can reach their goals sooner than they could without planning. If you are a forest landowner, you should have a management plan that organizes your personal objectives into a comprehensive strategy for attaining what you want from your woods. You should have a stewardship plan. This publication explains how to go about creating one.
Many woodland owners are reluctant to harvest timber for fear of destroying their forestland's beauty, recreational value, and wildlife habitat. But there are ways to safeguard against poor harvesting practices and the landscape disturbances often associated with logging operations. As steward of your forest resources, you can use harvesting as a management tool to improve your woodlands. You then pass them on in as good or better condition than when you found them.
Most private forest landowners consider scenic beauty to be a very important forest benefit. This publication presents a brief overview of scenic forest values and how they can be enhanced as you manage for other forestland objectives, such as wildlife, recreation, and timber. Incorporating aesthetics into your management planning can add to the enjoyment of your land in many ways.
Our forests clearly provide us with many benefits, but perhaps none are more important than the environmental functions they perform. This publication focuses on how our forests contribute to our biological wealth, why we need to conserve natural diversity, and how landowners can help protect this biological treasure for future generations through proper use and stewardship, can help protect this biological treasure for future generations.
You may not consider water to be one of the forest's resources, but it is. Along with providing habitat for fish and many kinds of wildlife, water enhances an area's beauty and increases its recreational value. This publication discusses forested watersheds, effects of timber harvesting and how to protect the watershed, other issues to consider, and technical information specific to Pennsylvania.
As a forest landowner, you may wonder whether you could improve you income by putting the land to work. But what enterprise will produce the income you desire while preserving the beauty, wildlife, and recreational value of your land? This publication discusses the possibilities, covers the basics of business planning, offers case studies and examples, and features an extensive list of resources for various forestland enterprise.
Best management practices for forested wetlands and controlling erosion and sedimentation from timber harvesting operations have been established for Pennsylvania. The practices outlined in this publication supplement existing best management practices to benefit a wider array of forest resources and values.
If you own forest lands, you probably want them to remain in the family and be cared for and enjoyed by your heirs. Without a well-designed estate plan, however, you good intentions may leave your family with little more than an overwhelming tax burden. This publication covers the basics of estate planning for woodland owners.
Trees help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and save homeowners money and energy by moderating extreme temperatures. Trees also increase property values and make neighborhoods more visually appealing. The information found here summarizes the environmental, economic, and aesthetic values that backyard trees provide, and provides tips for choosing, planting, and caring for backyard trees.
This article looks at how an understanding of competing plants, deer, and light can lead to successful forest regeneration and the sustainability of hardwood forests. Under many circumstances, regeneration is not easy. Competing plants, deer, and insufficient light on the forest floor can interfere with regeneration and, in the long run, may threaten forest sustainability.
Dense understories of hay-scented, New York, and bracken fern provide picturesque beauty to our forests. However, dense fern understories lack plant diversity and provide little wildlife food and cover. Fern understories also interfere with the regeneration of hardwood forests, threatening their sustainability. This publication describes these three species of fern in detail and outlines the reasons why we have so much fern present in our forest understories today. The fact sheet also provides research based information on the impacts of fern as well as how to successfully control it. Whether your goal is to increase plant and wildlife diversity or regeneration success it’s important to consult with a professional forester who can help you recognize and treat fern problems.
When considering basal bark treatments for timber stand improvement and/or forest regeneration establishment projects, it is important to know what species are targeted for treatment.