Forestry provides long-term gain: Part 3

Investing in and profiting from sustainable forestry.

Investing in and profiting from sustainable forestry. Photo credit: Bill Cook l MSU Extension

Investing in and profiting from sustainable forestry. Photo credit: Bill Cook l MSU Extension

This is the third of three Michigan State University Extension articles highlighting the long-term benefits of forest management in Michigan. The video on which this article is written is titled “Investing in and Profiting from Sustainable Forestry”. Links to all three articles can be found at the end of this article.

A healthy forest is an investment in the future

A forest management plan, created by a consulting forester, is a long-term investment plan for your forest. The plan outlines your goals, and creates a schedule of harvest to achieve those goals into the future. The schedule provides a reminder of when harvests or maintenance cuts should be performed, with each cut likely generating income that can then be used for operating costs on the property. A consulting forester is keenly aware of the local current market prices for wood products; he or she will work to maximize the return on wood cut from your property.

In a sense, a landowner that is actively managing their forest may view the forest as a bank account where withdrawals are made (through harvests), interest grows back (in the form of trees), and over time another withdrawal may be made. Active management encourages growth in the forest as large and diseased trees are removed, opening up space for new trees to grow. An ever-changing forest structure also provides a variety of wildlife habitat and food sources, which will in turn increase the diversity of wildlife species residing or passing through the forest.

Whether the goals for your forest include timber production, wildlife, recreation or solitary enjoyment, a management plan is a must. Having a plan ensures you are providing the resource the attention it requires to provide you long-term, multigenerational benefits.  

Dr. Potter-Witter, Michigan State University, Department of Forestry, worked with Great Lakes Production to orchestrate the production of three short videos highlighting the benefits of forest management.

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