Forestry: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Forestry is the art and science of managing forests, tree plantations, and related natural resources. The main goal of forestry is to create and implement systems that allow forests to continue a sustainable continuation of environmental supplies and services. The challenge of forestry is to create systems that are socially accepted while sustaining the resource and any other resourses that might be affected.[1]

Silviculture, a related science, involves the growing and tending of trees and forests. Modern forestry generally concerns itself with: assisting forests to provide timber as raw material for wood products; wildlife habitat; natural water quality management; recreation; landscape and community protection; employment; aesthetically appealing landscapes; biodiversity management; watershed management; erosion control; and a 'sink' for atmospheric carbon dioxide. A practitioner of forestry is known as a forester. Note that the word "forestry" can also refer to a forest itself.

Forest ecosystems have come to be seen as the most important component

of the biosphere,[citation needed] and forestry has emerged as a vital field of science, applied art, and technology.
A deciduous beech forest in Slovenia.

Contents

History

The use and management of forest resources has a long history in China, dating from the Han Dynasty and taking place under the landowning gentry. It was also later written of by the Ming Dynasty Chinese scholar Xu Guangqi (1562–1633). In the Western world, formal forestry practices developed during the Middle Ages, when land was largely under the control of kings. Control of the land included hunting rights, and though peasants in many places were permitted to gather firewood and building timber and to graze animals, hunting rights were retained by the members of the nobility. Systematic management of forests for a sustainable yield of timber is said to have begun in the 16th century in both the German states and Japan.[2] Typically, a forest was divided into specific sections and mapped; the harvest of timber was planned with an eye to regeneration.

Timber harvest is a common component of forestry

The practice of establishing tree plantations was promoted by John Evelyn; it had already acquired some popularity in the British Isles. Louis XIV's minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert's oak forest at Tronçais, planted for the future use of the French navy, matured as expected in the mid-19th century: "Colbert had thought of everything except the steamship," Fernand Braudel observed.[3] Schools of forestry were established after 1825; most of these schools were in Germany and France. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, forest preservation programs were established in the United States, Europe, and British India. Many foresters were either from continental Europe (like Sir Dietrich Brandis), or educated there (like Gifford Pinchot).

The enactment and evolution of forestry laws and binding regulations occurred in most Western nations in the 20th century in response to growing conservation concerns and the increasing technological capacity of logging companies.

Tropical forestry is a separate branch of forestry which deals mainly with equatorial forests that yield woods such as teak and mahogany. Sir Dietrich Brandis is considered the father of tropical forestry.

Today

A modern sawmill

Today a strong body of research exists regarding the management of forest ecosystems and genetic improvement of tree species and varieties. Forestry also includes the development of better methods for the planting, protecting, thinning, controlled burning, felling, extracting, and processing of timber. One of the applications of modern forestry is reforestation, in which trees are planted and tended in a given area.

In many regions the forest industry is of major ecological, economic, and social importance. Third-party certification systems that provide independent verification of sound forest stewardship and sustainable forestry have become commonplace in many areas since the 1990s. These certification systems were developed as a response to criticism of some forestry practices, particularly deforestation in less developed regions along with concerns over resource management in the developed world. Some certification systems are criticised for primarily acting as marketing tools and lacking in their claimed independence.

In topographically severe forested terrain, proper forestry is important for the prevention or minimization of serious soil erosion or even landslides. In areas with a high potential for landslides, forests can stabilize soils and prevent property damage or loss, human injury, or loss of life.

Public perception of forest management has become controversial, with growing public concern over perceived mismanagement of the forest and increasing demands that forest land be managed for uses other than pure timber production, for example, indigenous rights, recreation, watershed management, and preservation of wilderness, waterways and wildlife habitat. Sharp disagreements over the role of forest fires, logging, motorized recreation and others drives debate while the public demand for wood products continues to increase.

Foresters

Foresters of UACh in the Valdivian forests of San Pablo de Tregua, Panguipulli, Chile

Foresters work for the timber industry, government agencies, conservation groups, local authorities, urban parks boards, citizens' associations, and private landowners. The forestry profession includes a wide diversity of jobs, with educational requirements ranging from college bachelor's degrees to PhDs for highly specialized work. Industrial foresters plan forest regeneration starting with careful harvesting. Urban foresters manage trees in urban green spaces. Foresters work in tree nurseries growing seedlings for woodland creation or regeneration projects. Foresters improve tree genetics. Forest engineers develop new building systems. Professional foresters measure and model the growth of forests with tools like geographic information systems. Foresters may combat insect infestation, disease, forest and grassland wildfire, but increasingly allow these natural aspects of forest ecosystems to run their course when the likelihood of epidemics or risk of life or property are low. Increasingly, foresters participate in wildlife conservation planning and watershed protection. Foresters have been mainly concerned with timber management, especially reforestation, maintaining forests at prime conditions, and fire control.[4]

Forestry plans

Foresters develop and implement forest management plans relying on tree inventories showing an area's topographical features as well as its distribution of trees (by species) and other plant cover. Plans also include roads, culverts, proximity to human habitation, hydrological conditions, and soil reports. Forest management plans include the projected use of the land and a timetable for that use. Traditional forest management plans focus on providing logs used for timber, veneer, plywood, paper, wood fuel or other industries. Hence, considerations of product quality and quantity, employment, and profit have been of central, though not always exclusive, importance. Foresters frequently develop post-harvest site plans for reforestation, weed control, fertilization, or thinning. The objectives of landowners and leaseholder influence plans for harvest and subsequent site treatment. In Britain, plans featuring "good forestry practice" must always consider the needs of other stakeholders such as nearby communities or rural residents living within or adjacent to woodland areas. Foresters consider tree felling and environmental legislation when developing plans. Plans instruct the sustainable harvesting and replacement of trees. They indicate whether road building or other forest engineering operations are required.

Agriculture and forest leaders are also trying to understand how the climate change legislation will affect what they do. The information gathered will provide the data that will determine the role of agriculture and forestry in a new climate change regulatory system.[5]

Education

Prescribed burning is used by foresters to reduce fuel loads

The first dedicated forestry school was established by Georg Hartig at Dillenburg in Germany in 1787, though forestry had been taught much earlier in central Europe.

In 1886, the first issue of the Romanian academic magazine Revista Pădurilor(Forestry Review) was published[6].

The first in North America, the Biltmore Forest School was established near Asheville, North Carolina, by Carl A. Schenck on September 1, 1898, on the grounds of George W. Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate. Another early school was the New York State College of Forestry, established at Cornell University just a few weeks later, in September 1898. Early North American foresters went to Germany from the nineteenth century to study forestry. Some early German foresters also emigrated to North America.

In South America the first forestry school was established in Brazil, specifically in Viçosa, Minas Gerais, and later moved to Curitiba, Paraná.[7]

Today, an acceptably trained forester must be educated in general biology, botany, genetics, soil science, climatology, hydrology, economics and forest management. Education in the basics of sociology and political science is often considered an advantage.

An interesting scope of work opens up for foresters interested in international politics. Organizations such as the Forest Policy Education Network are dedicated to facilitate the way into forest politics and to exchange information on the subject.

In India, forestry education is imparted in the agricultural universities and in Forest Research Institutes (deemed universities). Four year degree programmes are conducted in these universities at the undergraduate level. Masters and Doctorate degrees are also available in these universities

Tropic Ventures Rainforest Enrichment and Sustainable Forestry Project is registered under the Auxiliary Forest Program of Puerto Rico, and is a demonstration project for students and foresters interested in the sustainable management and preservation of tropical rainforest land.

In the United States, postsecondary forestry education leading to a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters[8].

See also

References

  1. ^ "Forestry." Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Thomson Gale, 2001. NA. General OneFile. Gale. 12 Oct. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS>.
  2. ^ Japanese Forestry.
  3. ^ Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce, 15th-18th Century, vol. II of Civilization and Capitalism, 1979, iilus. p. 240.
  4. ^ "forestry." The Columbia Encyclopedia. The Columbia University Press, 2000. 14041. General OneFile. Gale. 12 Oct. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS>.
  5. ^ "Study Targets Climate Change Impact on Agriculture, Forestry." National Hog Farmer (Online Exclusive) (August 5, 2009): NA.11 Oct. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/gps/start.do?prodId=IPS>.
  6. ^ Revista Pădurilor(Forestry Review) the oldest magazine in Romania(since 1886)
  7. ^ http://www.fao.org/docrep/93269e/93269e0a.htm The first forestry schools in South America
  8. ^ Society of American Foresters (2008-05-19). "SAF Accredited and Candidate Forestry Degree Programs" (PDF). Press release. http://www.safnet.org/education/forestry_degree_programs.pdf. "The Society of American Foresters grants accreditation only to specific educational curricula that lead to a first professional degree in forestry at the bachelor's or master's level." 

Further reading

  • Eyle, Alexandra. 1992. Charles Lathrop Pack: Timberman, Forest Conservationist, and Pioneer in Forest Education. Syracuse, NY: ESF College Foundation and College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Distributed by Syracuse University Press. Available: Google books.
  • Hammond, Herbert. 1991. Seeing the Forest Among the Trees. Winlaw/Vancouver: Polestar Press, 1991.
  • Hart, C. 1994. Practical Forestry for the Agent and Surveyor. Stroud. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-86299-962-6
  • Hibberd, B.G. (Ed). 1991. Forestry Practice. Forestry Commission Handbook 6. London. HMSO. ISBN 0-11-710281-4
  • Kimmins, Hammish. 1992. Balancing Act: Environmental Issues in Forestry. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
  • Maser, Chris. 1994. Sustainable Forestry: Philosophy, Science, and Economics. DelRay Beach: St. Lucie Press.
  • Miller, G. Tyler. 1990. Resource Conservation and Management. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing.
  • Stoddard, Charles H. 1978. Essentials of Forestry. New York: Ronald Press.

External links

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Simple English

Forestry means working to look after forests. Someone who has a job looking after forests is called a forester.

Forests are very important for the world today. Many of them are disappearing because there are so many people in the world. A forester has the job of making sure that the forest and all the wildlife that lives there is healthy. He makes sure that forests are not destroyed when they are used for timber production (cutting down trees to use the wood). Forests are important for recreation (letting people enjoy them). They are very important today because humans produce a lot of carbon dioxide and the forests help to turn this back into oxygen which we breathe.


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