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A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

A land manager's guide to conserving habitat for forest birds in ...

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Photo: Ken Elliott “When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on the earth.” Frank Lloyd Wright 34

Photo: Larry Watkins FOREST HARVESTING Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, and quality of forest vegetation to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis. Forests are not static, but change constantly, sometimes dramatically, and other times more gradually. Over the course of human history, forests have received growing pressure from population growth, spreading infrastructure, invasive species, pollution, expanding and intensifying agriculture and forestry, and now climate change. Silviculture is the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, and quality of forest vegetation to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis. Silviculture is often confused with managing forests purely for timber. However, modern practices are ecosystem based, and take into account additional ecological considerations and resource objectives such as wildlife, recreation, water, and aesthetic values. A silvicultural system has the following basic attributes: • satisfies the goals and objectives of the landowner • provides for timely availability of many forest resources (not just timber) • produces predictable harvests over the long term • balances biological/ecological and economic concerns to ensure renewability of resources • provides for regeneration • effectively uses growing space and site productivity Tree harvesting is a very prevalent activity and major force influencing the structure, composition, and quality of remnant forests of southern Ontario. Silviculture systems present different approaches to harvesting, regenerating, and growing forests. These systems mimic natural disturbance patterns and allow for sustainable harvest of forest products while providing for wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. The three main silviculture systems used in Ontario and world wide include the selection system, the shelterwood system, and the clear cut system. We can divide these systems into two broad categories: even-aged and uneven-aged management. Determining the appropriate system to use depends on the species and site characteristics of a forest stand and landowner goals and expectations. Except for clear cutting, all systems entail partial harvesting, because they retain a portion of the mature trees on site. Photo: Ken Elliott Forest Harvesting 35

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