American Forest Management

American forest management

What is American forest management?

American forest management is vital work. It preserves the country’s natural health and beauty while providing jobs and livelihoods.

Today, forests cover approximately one-third of the US’s land area. These forests have to be maintained for ecological and commercial reasons.1 The vast majority of this forest land (58 per cent) is owned by private landowners. They either maintain it as it is, or they use the forests for commercial reasons, such as for logging or wood products.2 One third of this forest land is owned by the US federal government. The Forest Service manages most of it.

The US Forest Service looks after many landscapes across 193 million acres in the public trust. It is a federal government agency whose aim is to improve the health and productivity of the nation’s forests. It focuses on managing vegetation, restoring ecosystems, reducing hazards and maintaining forest health.3

How does forest management work?

The US Forest Service looks after around 176 landscapes across the country, comprising rainforests, deserts, wilderness and more urban settings. Millions of people use and value these landscapes for a range of benefits, such as hiking and tourism.4

The aim of forest management is to manage the country’s natural landscapes for the public to enjoy. More importantly, it’s vital to preserve them for future generations. 

What is the purpose of forest management?

Historically, the agency focused on controlling the production of wood. But now, it is more concerned about protecting and restoring forested landscapes.

As timber and wood production in the US has declined, there is growing awareness around the need to protect forests and natural landscapes. Accordingly, the purpose of most forest management in America is to preserve forests for future generations

An estimated 160 million hectares of forest land in the US are at high to moderate risk of fires. These could threaten human safety and ecosystem integrity. That’s almost one-third of the US’s forested lands. 5

A large part of forest management in America hence focuses on preventing forest fires that could kill people and destroy property. Nowadays, more trees are concentrated in smaller landscapes, as forest land in the US has shrunk. Historically, the US had fewer but much larger trees. This made it harder for forest fires to spread. But the changing landscapes, and increased droughts resulting from climate change, have made forest fires a much bigger challenge.6

Sources

  1. data.worldbank.org. (n.d.). Forest area (% of land area) – United States | Data. [online] Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.FRST.ZS?locations=US [Accessed 9 Feb. 2021].
  2. www.fs.usda.gov. (n.d.). Forest Management Experience in the United States | US Forest Service. [online] Available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/speeches/forest-management-experience-united-states [Accessed 9 Feb. 2021].
  3. Fs.fed.us. (2019). US Forest Service Forest Management. [online] Available at: https://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/.
  4. www.fao.org. (n.d.). Public management of federal forest land in the United States. [online] Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/v9122e/v9122e10.htm [Accessed 9 Feb. 2021].
  5. www.fs.usda.gov. (n.d.). Forest Management Experience in the United States | US Forest Service. [online] Available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/speeches/forest-management-experience-united-states.
  6. www.fs.usda.gov. (n.d.). Forest Management Experience in the United States | US Forest Service. [online] Available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/speeches/forest-management-experience-united-states.