The Forestry Source - February 2015 - (Page 1)
February 2015 * Vol. 20, No. 2
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
It's Not Forestry, It's "Army Forestry"
Courtesy of Aberdeen Proving Ground
By Joseph M. Smith
or Scott English, CF, forester at
Maryland's Aberdeen Proving
Ground (APG), the objective is
clear: "As foresters who do army forestry,
our whole mission is to create and sustain
military mission testing and training landscape."
That might sound somewhat elementary and straightforward, but after a recent
trip to APG to learn about how forest management on military installations differs
from that performed in more traditional
settings, I can tell you firsthand that it's
To begin, it takes a good deal of coordination and scheduling for English and
colleague Jessica Baylor, environmental
protection specialist with the APG's Directorate of Public Works environmental
division, just to get on a work site.
Built on the shores of the Chesapeake
Bay in Maryland's Harford County in
1917, APG is one the country's premier
research, development, testing, and evaluation installations for Department of Defense equipment, weapons, vehicles, and
"If they're using it and the range is hot,
we can't be on it clearing sweetgum or
doing enhancement work in the stand adjacent to it," English said. "We have range
towers that we need to work with. They
like it that we're there because we make
T H I S
I S S U E
A Forester at Plum Creek Timber:
Silviculture and Research
What is it like to be a forester for one
of the largest timberland owners in the
nation? That's what Source editor
Steve Wilent asked Frank Cuff, CF,
who works for Plum Creek Timber
Company, a real estate investment
trust that owns about 6.8 million acres
in 19 states. Page 6.
SAF Leader Lab: Organizational
Climate Change for Leaders
As foresters, we're familiar with the issues and impacts of climate change, on
both the environmental and human sides
of the equation. Climate change is complex, emotional, and divisive. As leaders, we also need to be aware of the issues and impacts related to organizational climate change-another complex, emotional, and divisive subject-
for leaders. Page 7.
SAF Continues to Engage on Bat
Endangered Species Listing
Preventing Invasions of Destructive
Forest Pests Using Pre-Invasion
With pre-invasion data on invasive
pest biology, improved detection capacity, spread and economic damage
modeling, and clarification of the legal
options for response, the invasion of
many damaging species can be prevented. Page 12.
D E PA RT M E N T S
Science & Tech
their targets more visible, but they want to
make sure that everything is done safely
while they're getting their mission accomplished."
Beyond ensuring that foresters stay off
the range during live-fire exercises, working safely at Aberdeen also involves set-
(See "Army Forestry" page 3)
Transition to Young Growth Is Key Challenge
on the Tongass National Forest
By Steve Wilent
he fight over old-growth timber is an old story in the continental United States, particularly on federal lands in the
West. Large segments of the public became embittered
after decades of old-growth harvests and the effects on wildlife,
fish, and scenery. Today, a timber industry built on harvesting and
processing large, old trees struggles to survive on small logs, if it
can get enough of them. That story is still playing out today in
Alaska, on the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest, the
largest national forest in the nation. In a September 2014 article,
the New York Times described the forest as "a panoply of snowdusted peaks and braided rivers, slender fjords and more than
5,000 islands draped over a stretch of Pacific coastline, which is
widely viewed as one of America's great natural treasures."
Of course, the forest is much more than it scenery. It sustains communities throughout southeast Alaska through
tourism, fishing, hunting, recreation-and forest products.
Now, the US Forest Service aims to provide the remnants of a
once-booming timber industry with enough old-growth logs to
keep them going until a long-planned transition to younggrowth harvests is complete.
The conflict boils down to those who say too much old-growth
has already been cut and those who say that the main competitive
advantage of the timber industry in southeast Alaska is oldgrowth, and that it can't survive on small logs. The challenge now
is to find some common ground between these two extremes. At
the center of the debate is the Big Thorne timber sale on the nearly
2,600-square-mile Prince of Wales Island. According to the Tongass's 2013 Record of Decision, the sale would allow the harvest
of 148.9 million board feet from 6,186 acres of old-growth and
2,299 acres of young-growth timber, over a period of 10 years.
Tongass National Forest
The Allegheny SAF, New England
SAF, New York SAF, and staff from
the SAF's national office have continued to engage the US Fish & Wildlife
Service on the proposed listing of the
northern long-eared bat under the Endangered Species Act. Page 8.
Improving bald eagle habitat is a primary
goal of the foresters at Aberdeen Proving
Ground. Recent surveys indicate there are
more than 50 active nests on the installation.
ting aside time for crews to check parcels
of land for unexploded ordinances
(UXOs)-explosive weapons that did not
detonate when they were employed and
still pose a risk of exploding.
Finding UXOs buried underground is
one challenge; changes in the Army's
training mission is another.
"If we've got a great stand of oak, and
there's a new mission that comes in and
says, 'Hey, we've got to clearcut that 30
acres. The Army has looked at all its sites
and Aberdeen has been chosen, then
we've got to do it,'" he said.
That can be a frustrating experience,
English admits, but he and Baylor are able
to take such eventualities in stride because
they've adopted a landscape-level approach to forest management at APG and
have taken proactive steps to increase the
amount of forestland on the installation.
"You look at going from 3,000 acres
[of forestland when Aberdeen opened in
1917] to more than 18,000 acres now-if
you average it out over that timeframe and
consider how many acres of mitigation
we're doing in a year, it's pretty phenomenal," he said.
Phenomenal indeed. According to APG
records, from 1932 to 1963, forest cover at
the installation increased at a rate of more
than 146 acres a year. From 1992 to 2011,
A forester measures a tree in the Big Thorne Project area on the
Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
That total harvest is a fraction of the annual cut in years past.
Ketchikan Pulp Corp., which operated from 1954 to 1997 and at
one time employed as many as 500 people, used about 200 million board feet per year. Alaska Pulp Corp., which operated from
1959 to 1993, employed 450 at full capacity, and processed more
than 100 million board feet per year.
The importance of the Big Thorne sale to the region's remain(See "Alaska" page 4)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - February 2015
The Forestry Source - February 2015
In This Issue
A Forester at Plum Creek Timber: Silviculture and Research
SAF Leader Lab: Organizational Climate Change for Leaders
SAF Continues to Engage on Bat Endangered Species Listing
Preventing Invasions of Destructive Forest Pests Using Pre-Invasion Assessments
Science & Tech
The Forestry Source - February 2015