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Woodland produces values that many of us take for granted, and others do not have the opportunity to appreciate one way or another. Social values such as personal satisfaction and pleasure constitute a large portion of the motivation of private woodland ownership. More tangible values may include timber production, wildlife, watershed protection, recreation and aesthetics. For a further appreciation of woodland values, each must be treated separately.

Social Values
A woodland is a place to which one may escape, a place for renewal, a place to find mental and physical contentment, a place to love. Wood and tree products also have social values. Our lives would be greatly diminished in both wealth and beauty without wood. Wood is considered a renewable and non-polluting material indispensible for modern living.
Timber Production
A woodland is a complex community of trees and plants growing together. The manipulation of the woodland environment for timber treatments may differ for different objectives. For timber production objectives, the yield of timber or wood varies from site to site, depending on site quality, tree stocking, tree age distribution, past history and forest types. The amount of wood harvested from a woodland is regulated by;
  1. tree growth
  2. tree size
  3. stand condition
  4. market conditions
  5. personal preference and need for money
  6. desires other than timber production
Wildlife and fish are a valuable natural resource having recreation and monetary values. Woodlands together with adjacent lands provide the home for many kinds of wildlife. In this habitat, they live, eat, and breed. Man's activities may either stabilize, destroy, or enhance, this habitat. At present and in the past, cutting for wood products has had a greater influence on wildlife in this country than perhaps any active program for wildlife management.
Watershed Protection
Woodlands have an immense value as a regulator of waterflow. It is the best possible natural cover for minimizing overland flow, runoff, and erosion. Goals in managing woodland for watershed values should be to;
  1. maintain a vegetative banner between falling rain and bare soil
  2. retain the root moss in the soil
  3. preserve the soil structure
  4. avoid major soil disturbances
Caution should be taken with uses or treatments which tend to degrade watershed values. These include;
  1. fire
  2. grazing
  3. timber cutting
  4. mechanical site damage
  5. wildlife over-population
  6. overuse by people
Recreation and Aesthetics
These are two words which mean fun and beauty. The woodland environment provides many recreational activities including hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, skiing, hiking, camping, etc. Actually woodland is a warehouse of recreational wealth and if you own such an area, you are richer than you think.

Natural scenery fills many people with awe. They find a sunset, a clean stream, or a forest, a beautiful thing to behold. Yet man has managed to deface much of our natural world because he desires ease, material goods, and efficiency more than he loves beauty. We know the difference between the beautiful and the ugly, but we need to re-establish a land ethic, a respect for nature and our fellow man.

Most woodlands produce several values. The usual and best management for the small woodlot holding is for integrated uses or values. Uses may be harmonious or even complimentary, but some may conflict. For example, a woodland comprised of one timeber species may produce the highest profit for timber yet it has little value or use for wildlife, recreation or aesthetics. To make the integrated system work, requires you to compromise a little here and there with management objectives. The sum of the values may well be greater than any one, or it may better satisfy your own desires.

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Last revised August 14, 1995.

Please send comments to: Duane Bristow (72711.1414@compuserve.com)