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Georgia 4-H Forestry Field Day Manual

Lonnie E. Varnedoe, Public Service Assistant, The University of Georgia
Kim D. Coder, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia
David J. Moorhead, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia

The University of Georgia, Extension Forest Resources, Bulletin FOR96-029, 1996, 52 pp.

Tree and Forest Concepts

The following basic concepts cover the broad range of forestry. A correct understanding of each statement would benefit both resource managers and well rounded citizens. Some are so logical or simple that they are taken as granted and overlooked. An appreciation of these points would benefit judging team members.

A. Characteristics, Distribution, and Status of Forest Resources

  1. Trees have distinctive characteristics by which they can be identified.
  2. Trees depend upon water, soil nutrients, sunlight, and air for growth.
  3. Climate, soil, and topography influence the natural range and distribution of the different types of forest communities.
  4. Forest communities influence their climate and their soil.
  5. Forest litter, humus and roots give forest soil an exceptional ability to absorb moisture and resist erosion.
  6. In the forest, some organisms are adapted to living in the forest soil, some on the forest floor, some in the undergrowth, and some in trees.
  7. Forests are constantly undergoing change, and as they mature and are harvested or die, some species of plants and animals may be replaced by others.
  8. The interrelationships between the plant and animal members of forest communities and their environments determine the characteristics of a particular forest.
    1. Each of the plants and animals which make up a forest community have an influence on it.
    2. Forest communities influence the plants and animals of which they are composed.
  9. Fires, diseases, insects, man and animals may be harmful or beneficial to the forest.
  10. Some lands are better adapted for the growing of forests than for other uses.
  11. Forests have certain characteristics which make them attractive for recreational activities.
  12. An expanding population and new uses for forest products and services make necessary more intensive multiple purpose management of forest resources.

B. Understanding the Uses of Forest Resources and Their Importance to Man

  1. The original forests of the Nation were the primary sources of building the nation.
  2. Forests yield many essential products for man's use.
  3. Many communities are highly dependent upon local forests, forest industries, and forest recreation for economic stability.
  4. New uses for the products of the forest are being discovered through research and development.
  5. Forests provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities.
  6. Forests are important in helping to protect watersheds from floods and droughts.

C. Understanding Problems and Techniques of Management

  1. Forests can be managed to produce a continuous supply of wood and wood products, wildlife, water, recreational opportunities and forage.
  2. Foresters use various practices in managing forest resources:
    1. Insect and disease control
    2. Fire control
    3. Harvesting practices
    4. Thinning and pruning operations
    5. Reforestation
  3. Volume and growth data are essential in determining management practices necessary to produce the optimum amount of forest products.
  4. Research is essential for the development of new and improved forest management practices and the more efficient utilization of forest products and services.

D. Understanding Policy and Administrative Techniques

  1. Public use of forest land carries an obligation for good citizenship.
  2. Small woodland owners control a major portion of commercial forest lands which are a potential source of large quantities of forest products and services.
  3. The woodland owner can obtain technical advice and assistance in forest management from many public and private organizations and agencies.
  4. Current state and federal programs provide financial assistance as incentives for better management of forest resources.
  5. Many progressive public and private owners of forest lands are managing forests for multiple uses rather than solely for timber production.
  6. Forest owners have responsibilities as well as rights in the management and use of forests under democratic living.
  7. Cooperation between public agencies, private owners, and the general public is necessary in protecting forests against fires, diseases, insects, and excessive animal populations.
  8. Policy decisions must be made to settle differences of opinion which arise from competing uses of the forests.

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