Harvesting firewood sustainably from woodlot or forest

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By RICHARD GAST Cornell Ag Connection
Plattsburgh Press Republican (NY)

Whether taking firewood from small acreage for personal use or managing larger tracts for firewood harvesting and sales, owners of well-managed woodlots know the productivity of their land isn’t measured in the wood that’s harvested; it’s measured in the amount of wood the land is able to continually produce.

When properly managed, a forest-landowner can actually harvest firewood annually while creating a healthier timber stand with improved timber growth. Larger tracts will yield logs for lumber periodically, as well. At the same time, opportunities for outdoor recreation can be improved, along with the quality of wildlife habitat.

Once informed, almost all forest property-owners choose to harvest and market their firewood and saw-timber sustainably, with equal, if not greater, importance placed on managing their forestland for wildlife and recreation.

Unfortunately, short-term economic considerations, coupled with a lack of knowledge of forestry and silviculture practices, all too often give rise to unsustainable harvests that diminish the future timber value of property, while degrading habitat and water quality. A large percentage of North Country forest has been mismanaged, overcut and/or badly neglected for many decades.

And, regrettably, many of the forest landowners that I speak with, whether they’ve inherited land that has been in their family for generations, or recently purchased land for recreation or investment, are unfamiliar with, or do not fully understand the concept of sustainable forestry or its basic elements.

Superior forest management requires time. Inexperienced landowners need to understand their options and the likely outcomes before rushing into a harvest. Just because a logger offers to cut timber doesn’t mean it’s… Read Entire Article at the Press Republican >>