1 Definition of a Silvicultural System 4 The Decision Process Appendix 1 Answer Key
2 Major Types of Systems 5 There's More to Learn Appendix 2 Advantages and Disadvantages
3 Variations of Major Types 6 Implementation Appendix 3 References


Terms are just words. The actions associated with the terms are much more important than the actual terms. A silviculture prescription that describes an effective, well-conceived set of treatments to meet clear long-term objectives is much more important than applying a label to the prescription. David Smith (1986) carefully points out that a good silvicultural system is not likely to be something that has already been invented and can simply be selected ready-made from classifications or schematic descriptions.

Cartoon of the Joy of Silvicultural Systems Cookbook


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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Oscar Wilde

However, terms can be useful in providing information to others in a concise form. This concise information can be very important for understanding a prescription when reviewing the entire document is not possible. Also, these terms can be critical when data from numerous stands are summarized for individual silvicultural systems. Information systems such as ISIS (Integrated Silviculture Information System, BC Ministry of Forests) require consistent, accurate use of terminology to be useful. Smith (1986) suggests that sloppy use of the silvicultural system terminology leads to the words meaning little.

For this booklet we have chosen terminology that is well accepted worldwide and straightforward to use. We acknowledge that variations of some of the terms may be equally as valid, and suggest that understanding the concepts behind these systems becomes much more important. The terms used here have been incorporated into provincial guidebooks and the corporate information system for the province.

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