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What is Forestry?

Forestry: the application of scientific, economic and social principles to attain specific objectives in the care of a forest.

Scientific principles: The science behind forestry is called “silvics”, and the practical application of that science is called “silviculture”. The science of silvics examines characteristics of individual trees in a forest and the interactions of those trees with each other and with the forest ecosystem as a whole.

Economic principles: Forests have many values including biological, recreational, aesthetic and economic. Managing a forest really boils down to prioritizing those values and determining how to maximize some without seriously degrading others. To understand the economic value of a forest, one must consider many factors including current market value, rates of growth and appreciation, tax considerations and crop rotation.

Social principles: Without people, there would be no need for the management of natural resources. It is the human impact on our Natural environment that makes resource management necessary. If our forests are to meet the demands for material and non-material values we place upon them, foresters must help citizens understand the economic, aesthetic and ecological consequences of any given course of action. Conversely, foresters must understand and consider a wide range of opinions and feelings about forest management.