What is Environmental Forestry?

S. Zaimov

Environmental forestry refers to the restricted cutting of trees in specified areas in order to minimize the impact of deforestation upon the environment. Also called land conservation or forest conservation, the field usually focuses on balancing goals of ecological integrity with economic and other societal benefits. Environmental forestry also attempts to preserve forests that are threatened by abuse.

Environmental forestry involves managing logging to minimize its impact.
Environmental forestry involves managing logging to minimize its impact.

The diffeent sections of a forest are interdependeent. As a result, environmental forestry is usually concerned with entire woodland regions. Tropical rainforests, for example, can die if they decrease in size, because they would not receive the requisite amount of moisture. Cutting down certain areas may also limit food resources for animals, diminishing their population all throughout the forest.

Conservation is one of the main responsibilities of environmental forestry.
Conservation is one of the main responsibilities of environmental forestry.

Large-scale industrial lodging and road building has left many forests throughout the world in rapidly deteriorating conditions. Since then, efforts have been made to restore woodlands and revitalize rural communities. Preserving the ecological integrity of a forest involves protecting the natural processes that occur within the region. For example, the movement and distribution of water, or natural hydraulics, is important for protecting animal habitats, plant growth and forest soil. Environmental forestry also focuses on the conservation of unique aspects of the forest, such as natural springs or rare flora.

Land conservation can also help property owneres more effectively manage their land. Some landowners use their land to attract wildlife for hunting or recreational purposes. Others may be involved in the timber business and require a profitable and sustainable plan for cutting down tress. For these purposes, they need to protect the health of the forest and the quality of the water.

Some people may purchase entire sections of the land for the sole purpose of conservation. Environmentalists may also designate areas of the forest, such as natural reservoirs, that need to be protected from human influence. Risks of poaching and illegal logging, however, often exist. To deal with this issue, some landowners may choose to live on and monitor the purchased land. They may live in treehouses or earth houses that resemble the natural setting.

Environmental forestry can benefit not only the landowner, but the land itself, and society in general. Taking care of the land attracts and protects plants and animals which depend on specific natural habitats to survive. People living downstream of the forest may also need a clean water supply. Preserving the forest is also important for future generations.

Felled trees.
Felled trees.

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