Americans love their woods. Most of us live within 10 miles of a woodlot so we know that trees help define our communities and quality of life. Most of America's woods are owned by families--small woodlots of 10 to 50 acres. And these woods, when well cared for, can make all the difference in protecting America's forest legacy.
It used to be that we could let nature take its course. But today, to keep woods healthy, we need to actively manage our woods -- no matter how large or small our woodlot may be. So if you wonder about your woods, take a look at some ways you can begin to take steps to protect and enjoy America's forests.
Did you know?
- 25% of America's fresh water comes from private forests.
- For more than 70% of Americans, a woodland is within 10 miles of their home.
As a landowner with woods, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference - for your woods and for the future. By taking a few steps, you can improve the health of your woods and provide a place of family solitude and beauty for years to come.
Get outside with family, friends, and neighbors to connect with nature
- Introduce a child to the woods
- Go fishing
- Go hunting
- Design and build a recreational trail
- Go birdwatching
- Go exploring to locate and conserve a natural or cultural treasure on your land
Identify your management priorities
- Know what is on your land - what trees, flowers, and wildlife do you enjoy most?
- Identify any invasive pests or pathogens that threaten your woods
- Contact a forester near you to discuss your plan for your woods
Take the kids for a walk in the water, May/June 2010 Tree Farmer Magazine
Tips for involving the next generation, March/April 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Connecting kids to nature, November/December 2008 Tree Farmer Magazine
Introduce a child to hunting, September/October 2010 Tree Farmer Magazine
Manage your forest-field edges for wildlife, May/June 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Did you know?
- 27 million acres of non-federal forests are at risk of insect and disease damage, including invasive pests.
- Climate change could result in a rapid increase of diseases and pests that attack tree species.
There are a lot of threats that can harm your woods. To take care of your woods, you will need to take steps to manage them to keep them healthy and thriving. It's no longer okay for nature to take its own course. As a woodland owner, the future of thriving forests depends on each of us. Following a few simple steps can save your woods.
Do not move firewood
Insects and diseases travel by firewood from one location to another. It's really easy to prevent transporting insects and diseases by simply not moving firewood. For more information, check out www.dontmovefirewood.org
Identify Pests & Pathogens
Invasive pests threaten not only your woods but the woods around you. Be a good neighbor and identify and report any major pest or pathogens found in your woods. For more information on identifying and reporting pests, visit www.forestpests.org
On the watch for forest insects, July/August 2010 Tree Farmer Magazine
Slowing the threat of invasive plants, January/February 2010 Tree Farmer Magazine
Managing to survive insect outbreaks, March/April 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Did you know?
- 60% of at-risk wildlife species rely on private forests.
- 66 million people enjoy watching wildlife across the country, including on private forests. Wildlife watching generates over 1 billion jobs, and $38.4 billion direct retail spending.
Caring about wildlife means caring about the health of your woods. One reason Americans love the woods is because they provide the opportunity to see critters: rabbits, bobcats, owls, hawks, woodpeckers, foxes, and hundreds more species roam free in America’s family forests. several species of at-risk wildlife that utilize private forests include the key deer, Red-cockaded Woodpecker and the Delmarva fox squirrel.
Walk in your woods.
Learn about the wildlife on your land by taking a walk in your woods at different times of the day. Memorize or record the critters you see near a water source, at the forest-field edge or under a fallen log.
Mark your calendar! National Walk in the Woods Day™ is every third Saturday in May
Discover a forest, invite neighbors to take a walk through your woods, take your kids outside, or go camping. We encourage you to celebrate forests with people across the country by taking a walk in the woods every third Saturday in May.
Care about wildlife?, January 2011 American Forest Foundation Blog
Wildlife habitat: An alternative forest management practice, March/April 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Black Bears: The good and the bad, January/February 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Did you know?
- An estimated 90 million acres of non-federal forests are at risk of wildfire.
- As the climate warms, the forest fire season is likely to lengthen, and the area subject to high fire danger is likely to increase significantly.
Are your woods at risk?
The negative effects of climate change will likely extend the forest fire season and significantly increase the wooded areas subject to fire danger. The long-term effects of fire will depend heavily on changes in human fire management activities. Without action, the future of your woods may be at risk.
Identify the greatest risk to your land, based on your property profile and your regional knowledge. Then, we can put you in touch with a local forester to see what you can do to create a fire resistant forest. You can also check out www.firewise.org for additional information on becoming firewise.
Make your home and forest fire resistant, November/December 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Good fire, bad fire, September/October 2008 Tree Farmer Magazine
Combating climate change: How family forest owners are shaping the debate, July/August 2009 Tree Farmer Magazine
Did you know?
- 92% of trees harvested in the United States come from private forests
- America's annual forest growth exceeds harvest by 37% each year
Healthy woods grow from good advice. Just as one may seek professional advice before purchasing a new home, bringing in an expert can help you maintain the health of your property and get a fair estimate about the status of your woods.
Seek professional advice
Wherever you are, call your State Forester, local extension forester, or State Farm Committee before you harvest your woods. It is important to include a professional in any harvesting decision about your woods.
Added value: Why hire a consulting forester, May/June 2008 Tree Farmer Magazine
Commercial thinning: when and what to consider, September/October 2008 Treet Farmer Magazine
The value of pruning, March/April 2008 Tree Farmer Magazine
Money does grow on trees!, July/August 2010 Tree Farmer Magazine
The Call Before You Cut campaign provides private forest owners in the midwest with resources for forest management
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