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  • The Benefits of Improved Forestry Management

    2010 - 04.08

    If you want to make money quickly then IFM or Improved Forestry Management is not for you. Long term planning is required as well as careful monitoring of forests, which includes the culling of undesirable trees and the nurturing of vegetation along the waters edge to improve water quality.

    Managed forests are divided into clusters of trees, which are managed as a unit and called ‘stands’. On forestry plantations stands usually consist of similar trees, however natural forests don’t grow that way. In some cases trees, such as the western red cedar thrive in the shade of much larger trees and can’t be grown in homogenous stands.

    “You want to create a stand that has a number of different layers,” says Bettina von Hagen, President of Oregon-based Ecotrust Forest Management. “You need a canopy layer, an emergent layer, and a shrub layer; IFM is about setting up processes that will result in those changes.”

    This makes improved forestry management much more labour intensive than traditional industrial forestry. On the plus side the work tends to be more consistent over time as it requires people to enter the forest more frequently instead of just during the final harvest.

    Such procedures also open the door to other payments for ecosystem services, such as water quality credits. However, these are not currently planned for the Sooes project.

    “The potential for biodiversity credits is low there, because there just isn’t that much development in the region that would lead to mitigation opportunities,” says von Hagen.  “But some of our forests are close to municipal watersheds, so there are opportunities for water quality credits associated with them, and this is certainly an area we will be exploring in future acquisitions.”

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

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