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This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 41 No. 1, p. 79-86
     
    Received: Jan 12, 2012
    Published: December 7, 2012


    * Corresponding author(s): tstraka@clemson.edu
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doi:10.4195/jnrlse.2012.0002n

Forest Resource Management Plans: A Sustainability Approach

  1. Lauren S. Pilea,
  2. Christine M. Wattsa and
  3. Thomas J. Straka *a
  1.  aSchool of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Box 340310, Clemson, SC 29634-0310

Abstract

Forest Resource Management Plans is the capstone course in many forestry and natural resource management curricula. The management plans are developed by senior forestry students. Early management plans courses were commonly technical exercises, often performed on contrived forest “tracts” on university-owned or other public lands, with a goal of generating standard reports showing silvicultural, forest management, and timber harvesting activities. This early timber-oriented management approach gradually changed late in the last century into one that was oriented around real-world private forest landowners. Various types of actual forest properties and owner types were used for the exercises, but family forest properties tended to be stressed because they represent one of the most common types of management plans. Also, the timber emphasis changed to a multiple-use emphasis (with major considerations of nontimber resources, like wildlife, recreation, water, soils, and aesthetics). Forestry students were exposed to real-world forest owners and linked to practicing professional foresters who currently managed these properties. This same approach is being used to introduce forestry students to a major new emphasis: forest sustainability and forest certification. Sustainable forest management has grown into a major thrust of forestry for economic and ecological interests and forest certification systems are now crucial to ensuring sustainability. Clemson University is incorporating a major American forest certification system for family forest owners into its curriculum and capstone course to strengthen student understanding of these essential concepts. It represents an expansion of the landowner approach to broaden the capstone course to emphasis forest sustainability issues.

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