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Ecological Forestry: Restoring, rehabilitating, and maintaining diverse and resilient forest ecosystems. Cindy Williams. Thomas LaPointe, Refuge Forester Silvio O. Conte NFWR 802-962-5240; [email protected] Forestry Models. Custodial (AKA “Set Aside”) Sustained yield Multiple-use

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Ecological Forestry: Restoring, rehabilitating, and maintaining diverse and resilient forest ecosystems

Cindy Williams

Thomas LaPointe, Refuge Forester

Silvio O. Conte NFWR

802-962-5240; [email protected]


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Forestry Models

  • Custodial (AKA “Set Aside”)

  • Sustained yield

  • Multiple-use

  • Production

  • Extensive

Greg Corace


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Ecological Forestry

Forestry that focuses on restoring, rehabilitating and maintaining the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems


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Ecological Forestry - Tenets

  • Forests are dynamic ecosystems that evolve over time and if left alone are shaped by natural agents

  • Manipulating forest ecosystems by emulating natural disturbances regimes will encourage native diversity that is better able to cope with stressors

  • At the stand scale, provide biological legacies (typically large old trees, snag trees, cavity trees, coarse woody debris, etc) similar to those that survive natural disturbances

  • At the landscape scale, the crucial point is to regenerate areas at approximately the same rate as the natural disturbance cycle would have, and to ensure that the natural diversity in age and structure are conserved and maintained


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Biological Integrity, Diversity, and Environmental Health (BIDEH)

  • …”favor management that restores or mimics natural ecosystem processes or functions to achieve refuge purpose(s)”

  • …”the highest measure of biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health (as)...those intact and self-sustaining habitats and wildlife populations that existed during historic conditions”


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Challenges (BIDEH)

  • Human demand for timber

  • Unpredictable changes of land use associated with a predominately privately owned landscapes

  • Severely degraded and altered ecosystems

  • Complexity in managing and balancing ecosystems at multiple spatial scales


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Recommendations (BIDEH)

  • Consider ecological forestry when developing goals, objectives, and strategies for forest ecosystems

  • Read more about it

    • Towards a New Forestry – Jerry Franklin

    • Principles of Ecological Forestry–Robert Seymour and Malcolm Hunter

    • Ecologically Based Forest Management – John Kotar

  • Consult a forester, forest ecologist, or other

    resource professional with knowledge in this field



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Umbagog NWR, New Hampshire (BIDEH)

Cindy Williams


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Questions? (BIDEH)


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