Motivations to Manage Your Forestland - John Marchant

New York Forest Owners Association, Penn Yan, NY


Since my task this morning is to motivate you all to manage your respective forestlands it might be good to start by trying to understand exactly why you would want to manage your woodland properties. After all mother nature does a pretty good job of getting along without either help or interference from us so what’s all the big fuss about?

I like to look at it this way. Mother nature does a wonderful job at survival of species. She may not do the best job possible for any one species but she does one heck of a job maintaining a diversity of as many as possible. And then in lies the very point I’d like to make this morning. If there are any particular species characteristics that each of us as individuals would like to improve on our own properties then its likely that we can achieve that by giving nature a small helping hand. The idea is, have each of you thought about what characteristics you might like to improve so that your property gives you more enjoyment and satisfaction in the future, near and far?

Your Plan Reflects Your Interests

The most important point I can make this morning is that a management plan should be a reflection of your personal interests. Any plan may eventually provide benefits to several outside interests, but only as secondary to your own desires. If you don’t have a plan at this time you may need some help in thinking through what your interests might include. Once you get started, perhaps with some professional or peer group help, you’ll get the idea very quickly. Having thought it through, with or without some help, you still may decide that mother nature can best do what you want done all by herself and there is nothing wrong with that decision. The important thing is that you arrived there by thinking through the options, not by ignoring other possibilities

I would like to start that process this morning by sharing some of my personal experience with you. We’ll have a quick look at my management plan and then follow that with several examples of things I have done to try and implement that plan. I am not proposing that you should or would be interested in many of the things I have done. I sincerely hope none of you would be dumb enough to get involved with some of the things I have, but rather consider them as idea triggers for different things that would be of direct interest to you individually.

1. Marchant Management Plan Overview.

a. Example of Plan detail.

2. Marchant Motivators.

3. Use of the computer to show the graphical aspects of this plan.

a. General outline showing boundaries.
b. Compartments of agriculture and forests of various stages.
c. Logging roads, ponds, streams, buildings etc.
d. Topo and contour map
e. Soils map
f. All the above at once.

4. Use of the computer for stand analysis by software-SILVAH.

a. Plot centers in highest quality medium sawtimber stand.
b. Graphic plots of species and position of growing stems in stand.

5. Sawmill to implement various aspects of management plan.

a. Value added concept for timber resource.

6. Wildlife Habitat Improvement.

a. Maintain forest/clearings edges for food and cover.
b. Trail (Corridor) establishment and maintenance.
c. Small clearcuts to re-establish young growth
d. Pond development
e. Bluebird trail of ten houses.

7. Everyone’s Dream.

a. Building your own log cabin from timber on your property.

Return Papers by Topic