Portal:Forestry

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Introduction

Forestry work in Austria

Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences.

Modern forestry generally embraces a broad range of concerns, in what is known as multiple-use management, including the provision of timber, fuel wood, wildlife habitat, natural water quality management, recreation, landscape and community protection, employment, aesthetically appealing landscapes, biodiversity management, watershed management, erosion control, and preserving forests as "sinks" for atmospheric carbon dioxide. A practitioner of forestry is known as a forester. Other common terms are: a verderer, or a silviculturalist. Silviculture is narrower than forestry, being concerned only with forest plants, but is often used synonymously with forestry.

Forest ecosystems have come to be seen as the most important component of the biosphere, and forestry has emerged as a vital applied science, craft, and technology.

Forestry is an important economic segment in various industrial countries. For example, in Germany, forests cover nearly a third of the land area, wood is the most important renewable resource, and forestry supports more than a million jobs and about €181 billion of value to the German economy each year.

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A grove of Quaking Aspen and Lodgepole Pine in the spring
Shoshone National Forest is the first federally protected National Forest in the United States and covers nearly 2.5 million acres (10,000 km²) in the state of Wyoming. Originally a part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, the forest was created by an act of Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison in 1891. There are four wilderness areas within the forest, protecting more than half of the managed land area from development. From sagebrush plains through dense spruce and fir forest to craggy mountain peaks, Shoshone National Forest has a rich biodiversity rarely matched in any protected area.

Three major mountain ranges are partially in the forest: the Absaroka, the Beartooth and the Wind River Range. Yellowstone National Park forms part of the boundary to the west; south of Yellowstone, the Continental Divide separates the forest from its neighbor, the Bridger-Teton National Forest, to the west. The eastern boundary includes privately owned property, lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Wind River Indian Reservation, which belongs to the Shoshone and Arapahoe Indians. Custer National Forest along the Montana border is the boundary to the north.


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Heinrich Cotta
Heinrich Cotta, German silviculturist and founder of the Royal Saxon Academy of Forestry, is known as a pioneer of scientific forestry. Cotta was a pioneer of modern forestry, and was a catalyst concerning the transition from "timber production" to forestry as a scientific discipline. He was interested in all aspects of forestry, including studies involving long-term seeding, establishment of forested areas, and tree-cutting based on mathematic practices. Cotta's methodology was based on a geometric survey of the forest, where calculations of the wood mass of individual trees as well as the yield of the entire forested region were made. By way of these calculations an estimate for the monetary worth of a forest could be assessed. In 1804 Cotta was the first to suggest the concept of a "volume table", which was a chart that was introduced decades later to aid in the estimation of standing timber volume.


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Did you know?

...that Russia has by far the largest forested area of any country in the world, at 7,762,602 square kilometers?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

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