The Influence of Industrial Forest Management Interests on Forest Restoration and Carbon Sequestration Policy and Practice

By Will Russell.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Current theories on the conservation and restoration of forests mask a new strategy for the expansion of industrial timber operations. Forest restoration and carbon sequestration projects are becoming increasingly reliant on the use of silvicultural tools and the application of oversimplified forest development models based on resource extraction. An analysis of forest policy and practice indicate that industrial timber interests have subverted the goals of restoration and carbon sequestration. Forest ecosystems are broadly accepted as the most effective terrestrial carbon sink. However, the sequestration value of primary forests, as opposed to managed timber stands, has been misinterpreted by managers and misapplied in the field. Though younger forests tend to sequester carbon at higher rates than primary forests, total carbon stored in unmanaged forests represents a higher and more consistent value. Restoration of forests, degraded through over-harvesting, is essential for conserving biodiversity. There is, however, a growing trend in the forest restoration community to base management goals around the “working forest” model. This model suggests that pre-harvest stand characteristic can be reinitialized through the continued removal of timber. In order to clarify distinctions between various types of forest management a set of definitions is presented based on the primary objective of each management type.

Keywords: Old-Growth, Forest Restoration, Forest Health, Industrial Forestry

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.89-100. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.706KB).

Dr. Will Russell

Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies Department, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA

Will Russell received a doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Plant Biology. His research primarily focuses on the conservation and restoration of forest communities. He is particularly interested in the direct and indirect effects of logging on coast redwood forests. He has also done extensive work on ecological disturbance in the Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest, as well as research on the restoration of coastal dune communities. Prior to coming to San Jose State in 2004 Will spent two years with the USDA Forest Service, four years with the USGS Biological Resources Division, and one years with the California State Parks. In addition, Will has taught in the public schools at both the primary and secondary level and has an abiding interest in developing methods for improving the ways that environmental issues are taught to our children. He is currently involved in developing research projects aimed at measuring the effectiveness of environmental education programs in the public and private sectors.

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