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Shakesby, R.A., & Doerr, S.H. (2005). Wildfire as a hydrological and geomorphological agent. Earth Science Reviews, 74, 269-307. doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2005.10.006
Forests are a vital part of any ecosystem because they promote biodiversity and provide oxygen for the atmosphere. About fifty-percent of the total land area of North America is forested land (Forests, web). Almost all trees grown for use in the pulp and paper industry come from forests referred to as “managed timberlands.” These forests may look like just woods but they are actually a highly monitored and protected agricultural crop. Much of the forested area around an industrial site is “managed timberlands.” Much of the forests in the southeast United States wouldn’t exist without this agricultural practice of planting and harvesting trees. It takes from 10-20 years from plantation to harvest and during this time the forests serve as wonderful habitats for animal inhabitants of the area and they also add oxygen to the atmosphere (TAPPI, 1). “Most of the pulp and paper in the world comes from plantation-grown wood – fast growing wood with harvesting cycles ranging between five and 20 years. These are fast growing and well-m...
published in mid-August by researchers at Duke University in North Carolina and the U.S.-based non-governmental organisations Save America’s Forests and Land Is Life
Management Of Pacific Douglas-Fir Stands To Maintain Black-Tailed Deer Populations Introduction Within the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, intensive, even-aged silviculture has simplified the structure and species composition of native forest stands. Within the range of the coastal Pacific Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), old-growth forests presently cover only 13 percent of the region; 60 percent of these remnants occur in patches less than 40 hectares in size. In this region, total land area consisting of old-growth forest before extensive logging has been estimated at 60-90 percent (Williams and Marcot 1991). As a result of intense clearcutting practices, early successional stages have become predominant and later stages have declined. Shifts in age classes of forests have been accompanied by changes in composition and abundance of fauna.
Management of Old-growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest When westward expansion brought settlers to the Northwest in the 1800s, they discovered that coniferous trees “forty feet in circumference [that] shot two-hundred feet straight up” flourished in the forests of the Pacific coast (Ervin 55). These early pioneers found the opportunity for economic growth in logging these vast forests of towering trees unlike any they had seen before. Today, the timber industry still remains the backbone of economic support for Washington, Oregon, and northwestern California, but an inevitable conflict has arisen between humans and our environment. A struggle over the control of the use of the old-growth forests threatens the balance of the ecosystem and the stability of the economy in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 55,000 acres of Northwest forest land succumb to chainsaws to feed the ever-increasing foreign and domestic demands for lumber (Time 21).
Forest ecosystems services emerge and replace timber as a focus point of forest management. Eftec (2005) defines forest ecosystems service as benefits from forest to support human life through such natural processes, for example, in regulating air, water, and nutrient cycles, stabilizing microclimate, and preventing droughts and floods. This approach then emphasize on how to maintain all natural processes within the forest to sustain their natural product such as water, fresh air, and fruits, instead of focusing on sustaining the products itself, especially on timber. Timber extraction activities commonly neglect other features such as wild animal, under storey vegetation, thus obviously affect to ecosystem balances, and prevent them to function well. Furthermore, wood-based approach leads to misinterpretation on forest that sees the value of forests only from commercial wood. After extracting wood, forests tend to be converted to other profitable land use, and cause more deforestation. In their report, Food and Agriculture Organization (2010) says that global forests’ loss due to conversion to other use and natural causes reached 13 million hectare per annum in the last decade, equal to 36-football field per minute. Nevertheless, Polasky (2011) explain that at least there are three challenges in mainstreaming this approach namely how to understand the concept, how to estimate the value of services, and how to endorse stakeholders’ engagement. To examine Polasky’s ideas, this essay will describe a brief concept of forest ecosystem services, identify some main services provided by forest, and present some challenges in promoting ecosystem services as a key point of forest management.
Landscapes are controlled by dynamic variables across different scales that occur within the environment. Wildfires, herbivory, climate, and development, among others, all contribute to those transformations. These types of landscape disturbances can also occur across different scales, both spatial and temporal. Consider a small brush fire occurring in the backyard of a small residential neighborhood for a few hours before becoming extinguished by the local fire department. The spatial and temporal scales of this type of landscape disturbance are minimal. When compared to the Cerro Grande wildfires that occurred in New Mexico during May of 2000, the effects of the same type of disturbance are vastly different. As a result, the Cerro Grande Prescribe Fire had burned over 45,000 acres for almost 2 weeks and will have left the landscape in a dramatically different state (NPS, 2000). We can see the vastly different effects of each of the same disturbance on the landscape.