The long view
Timber represents a valuable aesthetic, environmental, and economic asset for its owners and for the world at large. Forest stands only reach maturity once or twice a generation. Timber harvests are infrequent, the outcome of many years of past timber growth are at risk, and the condition of the forest after harvest profoundly affects its productivity for many years to come. Therefore, decisions made regarding family forests have long term consequences. It's important to take a long term view in order to be good stewards of the timber assets you hold. We can assist you in these important decisions.
Q. Why are forests important and what are their benefits?
Forests are important for aesthetic, environmental, and economic reasons. They have important aesthetic qualities:
- They are lovely to see and experience, presenting beauty that can be found in no other setting.
- Forests provide opportunities for recreation.
- Opportunities for education and research are rich in forest settings.
Forests are important for environmental reasons:
- Much of the clean water we drink and use flows from or through forests.
- They are also an important part of the chain that provides the clean air we breathe. Large amounts of carbon is captured from the air in forests and stored in lumber used every day
- Soil in forests is naturally conserved.
- They provide habitat for a wide variety of species of flora and fauna to live.
Forests are important for economic reasons:
- In the US, much of our forestland is private. If landowners can't earn a living from these forests, they will inevitably cut them down for farms, ranches or real estate development.
- Forest products are a vital part of the economies of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
- Trees are a hard asset and provide excellent inflation protection.
Forest products are an essential component of life, providing:
- Wood for home construction and remodeling
- Bark, trims and sawdust are used as an energy source to help power wood production facilities.
- Wood pulp provides for paper production
- Wood is a basic element of materials handling systems
- Much of the furniture we use is made from wood.
- A variety of medicines have their beginning in forest products
- Inks and other industrial products depend on forest generated material
- Export markets from all over the world purchase wood from the southeast.
Q. What is stewardship and what does stewardship of forest resources entail?
Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something to one's care. Stewardship of forest resources is the management of forest areas using sustainable forest management practices that integrates reforestation, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees while preserving soil, air, and water quality, wildlife and plant habitat, as well as aesthetics for today and the future. Good stewardship promotes the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees in a way that’s compatible with the protection of wildlife, plants, and soil and water quality.
Owners who practice good stewardship are able to see their timber stands as tracts of natural beauty and life, allowing them to manage their stands for the well-being and enjoyment of future generations as well as themselves. Good stewardship of forest resources means taking an active role in managing forests from “seed to saw to seed, from generation to generation to generation."
Q. Why do I need a strategy for my forest, won't it grow on it's own?
It’s important to consider your strategy and objectives when you contemplate harvesting your forest. There are many choices to make. Developing a forest management plan can be an important part of your decision-making process. Properly managed forests yield more timber, have a higher net present value, suffer fewer environmental impacts and can provide richer wildlife habitat than non-managed forests.
How can I develop a forest management plan?
A good forest management plan will ensure the harvest protects water quality, maintains or enhances forest productivity, and maximizes financial returns for all parties. A good forest management plan will
- Protect the value of your land
- Provide for reforestation
- Enable responsible harvesting
- Manage harvest residues and
- Protect water and soil quality.
Q. Why is harvesting mature stands of timber an important strategic component of good stewardship of forest resources?
Harvesting timber from forests can provide aesthetic, environmental, and economic advantages. Careful planning before harvests can ensure that biological diversity is maintained or even improved. Proper harvesting can provide a variety of tree species and age classes to meet a wide range of wildlife needs. Harvesting mature stands of trees creates new forest floor growth, providing protection and food diversity for wildlife. Wider buffers on streams provide improved riparian habitat. Wildlife travel corridors assist larger animals. Thinning of pine and pine hardwood may enhance the growth of understory vegetation. Reducing forest density allows more sunlight and nutrition for preferred trees.
Trees increase in volume as they grow. Good forest management practices can positively affect tree health, growth and future wood volumes. Additionally, no tree lives forever. Trees lose value if they are not harvested at the right time. Trees die from the inside out as they complete their life-span. Harvesting mature stands decreases the risk of damage from weaker trees becoming a danger under high wind conditions. Properly managed timber stands can provide an abundance of renewable natural resource materials after being harvested, while also providing many environmental benefit during their life-span.
Mature standing timber has economic value. Harvesting standing timber tracts can provide both immediate and sustained income for their owners. This could include improvements to family farms and longer term savings for college educations for children or grand-children.
Champion Legacy Resources would appreciate the opportunity to discuss developing a plan for stewardship of your timber stand.