The term ''New Forestry'' denotes an approach to forestry developed over the past decade in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in response to a broadening of forest management objectives, and based on improved knowledge of the workings of forest ecosystems. Essentially, New Forestry seeks to conserve more of the ecological values of the forest than conventional forestry practice, while permitting timber extraction. As such, it represents an affirmation of the principles of multiple use and integrated resource management.
New Forestry grew out of comprehensive ecosystem-level studies of the Douglas-fir forests west of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, but it is now being examined throughout the Pacific Northwest. In New Forestry, the ecological processes of the natural old-growth forest are studied to provide a guiding model in the design of the managed forest. Two important levels of spatial scale are recognized: the individual stand and the larger landscape.
Although New Forestry has not been formally defined, Lertzman (1990) summarizes it as ''an attempt to define forest management with timber production as a by-product of its primary function: sustaining biological diversity and maintaining long-term ecosystem health.''
The name ''New Forestry'' is perhaps unfortunate, since some of its concepts were previously developed in Europe and elsewhere (G. Krumlik, B.C. Ministry of Forests, personal communication). However, the name has stuck, and it is useful in that it implies a significant change in direction from the conventional practices that have prevailed in the Pacific Northwest.
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Updated November 27, 2008