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The sciences of Forestry and Silviculture are devoted to growing mature forests for sustainable harvest and regenerating new stands for future forest products.
Careful management of forest ecosystems protects wildlife habitat & water quality, reduces fuels, and enhances carbon sequestration. In turn, these healthy forests provide oxygen, clean air, clean water, and critical parts of the carbon cycle.
Forestry is the scientific management of forests for the continuous production of goods and services based on ecologically sound principles.
Silviculture is the applied science of tree cultivation and care: establishment, growth, forest composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values. The name comes from the Latin silvi- (forest) + culture (growing).
Sustainability is our ultimate goal: maintaining long-term ecological balance while always having forests in various stages of maturity throughout the landscape.
Forestry is a long-term endeavor. In most other businesses, “long-term” means 15 to 20 years. Forestry uses a much longer horizon: 60 to 80 years is not an uncommon time frame. Today’s harvest and planting decisions produce results two generations later, and our forests must be cared for in the interim. The forestry decisions we make today are truly plans for our grand children’s future.
Because Forestry is a long-term endeavor, it requires long-term commitments. Soper-Wheeler has done so through investment in projects that seek to improve forest health, not just on our lands, but over the entire landscape.
Soper-Wheeler’s objective has always been to achieve a balance between growth and harvest while continuously producing high-quality forest products. This is called “sustained yield”, and is also known as sustainable forestry.
Forest management is a continuous process and it has to be based on an intimate knowledge of the land and scientifically proven technique. There are multiple variables to consider, and complexity arises in how each one interacts with others. Some of the factors we take into consideration are forest type, site, topography, geology, soil, previous harvest, growth potential, access, range, water, wildlife, recreation, silvicultural systems, pest and disease protection, stand improvement, regeneration, rotation age, and fire protection. What works in one place often will not in another. It is only through careful analysis of these factors can we achieve the goal of sustainability.