DEEP: Promoting Healthy and High Quality, Sustainable State Forests

How do DEEP's Professional Foresters Promote Healthy and High Quality, Sustainable State Forests? 

To start, DEEP foresters carefully identify and map the different stands of trees found in each State Forest. Then, the foresters examine each stand, collecting scientific data that is later analyzed and used in management planning. Long-term forest management plans are developed for each State Forest, incorporating measures to address the needs of wildlife, water quality, recreation and the sustainable production of forest products. Foresters then implement the elements of the long-term plans by planning and overseeing commercial harvests, prescribed fires or other work to shape the forest.

{A forester collecting and analyzing data on forest trees} All of the forester’s work is based on science and is designed to imitate, in a very controlled way, the natural and Native American disturbances that created the healthy and diverse forest that greeted the Europeans. The forester seeks a careful balance – because too much disturbance AND too little disturbance are both detrimental to forest diversity.

Forest diversity means having a variety of …

  • Age classes (different ages and sizes of trees in different parts of the forest)
  • Tree and other plant species
  • Forest stands (groups of trees similar in species makeup and age)

Diversity in forest structure not only provides better habitat for the widest variety of plant and wildlife species, but it also creates a more resilient forest that is better able to withstand damage from hurricanes, insects or diseases.

Content last updated October 23, 2013