Forest Management Planning
Forest management is use of forests in a way that maintains their productivity, their capacity to regenerate, strength and their possibility to accomplish ecological, social and economic function at present and even in the future not causing damage to other ecosystems. (Bass, 2002) Forests are of very great importance and they should be conserved and protected so that they can continually help man in different ways.
Of great concern to forest management is how forests help man in different ways which include: providing timber for wood, providing recreational centers, wildlife habitat, aesthetic values, regulating the quality of water, sinks for carbondioxde which is in the atmosphere thus helping to purify the air and finally provision of employment to people working in the forests as foresters and also to people in the industries which largely deal with forest products. In management of forests biodiversity is also managed and the landscape also protected.
Forest management is usually carried out by foresters who have different types of duties to carry out. Foresters can be employed by government, industries involved in conservation, conservation groups or by private individuals who are interested in conserving forests. A forester should be a person who has a higher level of education like a college certificate, a bachelor’s degree or a PhD in areas where one is supposed to give special care and treatment to the forest. A forester should ensure that he professionally takes and handles his work to manage the forest for the benefit of all who depend on it.
It calls for total dedication to realize and achieve this goal. The government allocates funds for capacity development to ensure foresters are well facilitated to pursue the goal of forest management. (Bass, 2002) Duties of a forester include: controlling harvesting of timber to avoid over exploitation hence depletion of the forests, regeneration of other forests and dealing with the genetics of the trees in the forest. There are other foresters who deal with tree nurseries and they are usually involved in growing of seedlings that may be later transferred to a different place where they grow in to big trees and form forests.
Other foresters work in city environments dealing with urban trees, which may require special and unique treatment and care. Some foresters work as forest engineers dealing with development of new systems of building. (Bunnel, 2003) Foresters who work in tree-nurseries should ensure that they produce a lot of trees which they should supply to the people who largely depend on forest products so that they can be independent to avoid them from encroaching to the forests and destroying them.
Foresters should also be able to practice agro-forestry that is planting of food crops together with trees thus making maximum land use.
Foresters should also be abele to study and know the climate of a place so that they can be able to determine the type of tree species suitable for that climate for example in dry areas drought resistant trees should be planted like Prosopis juliflora,in cold areas plants which are able to survive the cold weather are planted. By doing so the trees in the forests are able to grow quickly and are selectively harvested thus creating space for more trees and thus a good cycle is usually applied. (Bunnel, 2003)
Foresters usually develop and implement forest management plans by looking at the topographical features around the forest, looking how the species are distributed, looking at the plant cover in a certain area and also looking at how human settlement can affect the distribution of forests.
Forest management usually deals with broad social, environmental, and economic goals. Forest managers put together a wide variety of conflicting factors that may include; demands of the community, environmental disasters, commercial and non-commercial values and global impact thus bringing out sound plans in the management of forests.
Management of forests can also be incorporated, that is management of both fauna and flora which includes land, water and animals thus promoting conservation of the biodiversity. In. forest management where both fauna and flora are involved a sustainable methodology of science is usually applied which ensures that the interactions and functions of organisms and their environment is well balanced and also it should recognize that that human beings with their diversified culture are also part of the ecosystems which they largely affect.
(Bunnel, 2003) Management of forests should be widely distributed and include the management of features around the forests and animals in the forests. This includes protection of water catchments which are usually found in the forests, controlling the population of animals in the forests, preventing soil erosion and preventing infection by pest and diseases. Human encroachment in the forests should also be restricted to avoid clearance of forests.
Scientific research has shown that the different policies implemented contribute in providing sustainable forest management which help in the conservation and preservation of the available forests and even creation of more forests. The policies which help in forest management include; extension of forest resources, having biological biodiversity, forestry health and liveliness, introduction of productive functions and socio-economic functions of forests (Bass, 2002)
Many different species have been discovered through scientific research, which have a very high medicinal value thus calling for better management of forests. Examples of these species include Aloe vera, Eucalytus, which cure a wide variety of diseases thus calling for need to conserve and manage both man-made and natural forests. Individuals, governments, and all the partakers in the forest management have taken many measures.
The suggested ways, which help in management without posing danger to other ecosystems, include; environmental education and awareness of the public, projected use of land and a well laid timetable for that use, training of foresters who will take care of the forests, developing and enacting laws which will govern and protect the forests, sorting trees when felling them to avoid felling immature trees and also avoid their injury, selecting species varieties when planting for easier management of the forests, introduction of quality types of trees through tree breeding and vegetative propagation, having post- harvest plans like reforestation,afforestation,weed control in the forests, fertilization during growth, and spacing of the young tree when they are growing and finally having a predetermined burning of the weeds and unwanted species. (Bunnel, 2003)
The government has promoted research in institutions of higher learning with intentions of coming up with species that are of value to both animals and human beings. This research has enabled the invention of species, which are drought resistant, and of high economical value.
From time to time the government also forms campaigns where by people are educated on importance of forests and some trees are planted on forests at a large scale thus increasing the number of forests available. The benefits of management and conservation of forests comes out so clear and therefore it should be addressed and supported highly by both government and individuals with human resource and finance to make it a successful programme which will help both man and the organisms he interacts with on daily basis to have good environment to live in and also avoids disasters like drought and global warming. (Bass, 2002)
It is therefore of great concern for the departments concern to fully conserve the forests that exists and also plan of developing new forests should be put in place to avoid depletion of the existing one.
Programs such as afforestation should be clearly developed and several groups should be formed that will steer planting of trees globally. However, it should be noted that not only civil societies or groups are responsible are responsible for planting trees but also individuals for example in homes should plant trees in small numbers. The cutting of trees without planting new trees should be completely avoided in order to ensure continuity of forests.
Reference: Bass S, (2002): Application of Criteria & Indicators to support Forest Management Research Series 7 CABI Publishing, Oxford. Bunnel F, (2003); Monitoring to sustain Biological Diversity, B. C Ministry of Water, Land & Air pollution Victoria, Canada