my name is steve fitzgerald and welcome
to this oregon state university
extension program
managing your forest land we hope that
you find the self-directed learning
module useful
as you explore how to go about managing
your forest land
you might be thinking why would i want
to manage my forest why not just let
nature take its course
and then sit back and enjoy certainly
that's one approach
and your forest may be where you want it
to be today
but forests are dynamic systems and they
constantly change
is your force growing and changing in a
way that will continue to meet your
some form of active management may be
needed to help guide your
forest in the direction that you want
actively managing your forest can have
many benefits that you may not be aware
for example planting tree seedlings
where they are lacking
can improve the productivity of your
property and improve wildlife habitat
thinning your forests can improve tree
health and help protect against some
insects and even wildfire and harvesting
trees can also provide periodic income
if that's an important objective of
so the first step is to decide what you
want your forest to look like
when it grows up the vision that you
develop for your forest
will help give you a sense of purpose
and direction
but developing a vision may take a
little time you'll want to consult with
a forester or biologist
who can provide ideas about your
property's potential
a big consideration in developing your
vision is what you have to work with
the type of forest you have now in its
such as its health age or productivity
influences what you need to do to move
it in the direction you want
is your forest comprised of trees of all
the same age and species
such as an even age forest does your
forest contain different species
and a range of ages what is called an
uneven age forest
is your forest well stocked with trees
and are they healthy
or is your forest under stock and in
poor condition
listen to chris and donna heffernan tell
their story about how they developed the
vision for their property
and what they did to make that vision a
hi i'm donna heffernan this is my
husband chris hefferman we're in north
powter oregon
and we originally bought this ranch in
1992 and i had worked for the forest
and had been retired raising children
and when
we moved up into this area we could see
the potential of this ranch and
we weren't sure how we were going to pay
for this piece of property and then
chris saw
the trucks rolling down the highway with
smaller diameter wood and
it was like the light bulb came on that
there is a chance that maybe this ground
could pay for itself if we went in and
managed it correctly
we got real excited and probably
especially me and thank god she followed
and she's hardly retired but uh yeah the
light went on that uh there was an
opportunity here for a tremendous amount
temper resource and uh that's when we
hard to work on the economics of it
surrounded itself with some quality
from osu to you know state forestry fish
and wildlife and some private foresters
that have been
been in this area in this region for
years and years and
really you know some good old whiskers
that really knew
uh what works and what doesn't but we
learned real quick that we were
had a golden opportunity and an awesome
opportunity to
end up with a piece of the rock in a
beautiful part of northeastern oregon we
also started our vision
we wrote a stewardship plan
we used odf and w odf osu we had a
professional forester help us write the
stewardship plan we've updated that
after 10 years we did an
update of our stewardship plan and that
was the start of our vision
and we have held pretty close to our
general our first ideas that we
came up with with that stewardship plan
and we've added and subtracted to it but
it was a perfect place to start it got
all our ideas down on paper
and we had a lot of professional help do
that with us
and uh got the place now to you know
place we'd like to be as far as being
able to just leave it alone and let it
grow and do its thing for the next 10 20
years until
there's either another market or uh or a
or an opportunity to come back in and do
the next
level of thinning when this temper gets
to the
the right stand and right age it's been
a blast the whole way and
it's been an incredible place to raise
two sons so it's been a
it's been a great ride and and hopefully
continue for many more years once you've
developed a vision for your property
and you understand what you have to work
with the second step
is to develop an action plan
it may take years or even decades to
realize your ultimate
dreams for your forest and that's okay
each step along the way can be both
exciting and rewarding
so enjoy the journey

Learn more about how to manage your forest land from Steve Fitzgerald in Oregon State University Extension's Forestry program.

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