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How is Forestry practiced on privately-owned land?
Street trees and yard trees have a significant impact on our quality of life and property values. Urban foresters work with homeowners to keep their yard trees healthy and to recommend proper replacement trees when needed. They also work with cities, towns, utilities and private community groups to develop policies and procedures to help insure the care and maintenance of urban trees.
Like all trees in urban areas, those growing on commercial sites such as in shopping areas or parking lots contribute to human comfort and aesthetic beauty. Because of the relatively harsh conditions in which these trees live, they require special care to remain healthy. Urban foresters and arborists can assist businesses in caring for their trees.
Indiana’s hardwood forests are some of the most productive in the world, and the vast majority of our forestland is privately owned. This presents a significant challenge to foresters, because it means impressing upon thousands of landowners the importance of scientific forest management to insure the sustainability of these important forests. Private forests are managed for a variety of benefits and uses including timber and wood products, personal recreation, wildlife habitat and hunting, watershed protection and for long term investments. The Division of Forestry has 20 District Foresters whose services are available in every county in the state. In addition, there are private consultant foresters who also work with landowners to help them meet their management objectives.
The quality of Indiana’s water and the quality of its forests are directly related. Without healthy forests, our rivers and streams would soon fill with sediment. Foresters work with landowners to encourage the planting and/or maintenance of buffer strips of trees near waterways. When land is disturbed by harvesting, mining or development, trees play a prominent role in reclaiming that land to a productive state, safeguarding water quality and insuring that waterways are protected from soil erosion. Foresters work with loggers and landowners to encourage the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs). These practices minimize disturbance to the environment and help the woods return to its original condition or better.
- Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques used to protect the forest and its soil and water resources while harvesting timber. BMPs are common-sense things such as taking recommended precautions to protect streams, closing logging trails properly to prevent erosion, and disposing of lubricants and other wastes properly.