Cerulean warblers spend part of the year in the Appalachian Mountains of North America as well as the Andes Mountains of South America. Photo by DJ McNeil.
What do biologists look for in a healthy forest? A diversity in the ages and composition of trees and occasional breaks in canopy to allow sunlight to reach understory plants. Healthy forests, just like healthy human populations, are sustained by a diversity of ages. Each group has a role to play in maintaining the whole community over the long term.
But healthy, diverse forests are on the decline across the eastern United States. A lack of natural and human-induced disturbances because of fire suppression and certain timber harvest methods have led the forested landscape to become largely homogenous. Read more »
Natalie and Donald Love use sustainable forestry practices to improve early successional habitat on their land in central Pennsylvania.
Natalie Love wakes up each morning to the sounds of songbirds. “What a good way to start your day,” said Love, who lives in the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania.
Natalie and her husband Donald are working to improve the healthy, structurally diverse forests that provide many benefits for wildlife. By doing so, they’ve also improved their access to their forests, fought off undesired invasive plants and improved the aesthetics of their forest land.
“Sustainable forestry is benefitting our personal lives as well as wildlife,” she said. “We want to build an inviting place for the golden-winged warbler.” Read more »
Chuck Leavell, a strong champion of sustainable forest management, has received many accolades for his support of forestry and conservation issues. He has turned his Charlane Plantation into a textbook tree farm. Photo credit: Photo provided courtesy of Chuck Leavell
Chuck Leavell may be known as the legendary keyboardist for the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers Band, but he’s just as proud of being a champion for tree stewardship and sustainable forest management. His conservation ethic, his forest advocacy and his personal stewardship of Charlane Plantation near Macon, Ga., were recognized Feb. 27 when the U.S. Forest Service proclaimed him an honorary forest ranger. Read more »