2015 Workshops: Timber Sales from a Wildlife Habitat Perspective
A well planned timber harvest can improve wildlife habitat. But not all harvests are created equal. With both classroom and field activities, we reviewed the basic needs of wildlife species, then took a practical look at timber sale design through the eyes of a wildlife manager. Instructors included both wildlife managers and foresters. The workshop included classroom presentations, harvest site visits, small-group exercises, and discussion.
We designed the workshops to foster discussion about why timber sales are set up the way they are and what practical steps might be taken to improve wildlife habitat outcomes. Discussions in the classroom and field addressed the many tradeoffs inherent in managing complex forest systems to balance competing values. While these discussions can be difficult when contract obligations are in dispute during active sales, the workshop provided a “safe space” and low-stakes opportunity to build mutual understanding of these competing values and the science, economics, and operational considerations that underpin them.
The workshops were offered by SFEC and the Minnesota Logger Education Program. We are grateful for the contributions of staff from the Minnesota DNR Divisions of Fish & Wildlife and Forestry as well as other organizations, public and private.
About 63 natural resource managers and logging contractors attended the workshops.
Follow-up: links and resources
- Planning around endangered species or cultural or natural heritage features: Instructions from MNDNR on how to find out about cultural or natural heritage resources on a site (PDF, June 2015). More info is on DNR’s Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program page.
- Minnesota’s Forest Management Guidelines (complete binder and 2014 pocket guide), including an online FMG course for those new to the guidelines.
- DNR’s Subsection Forest Resource Management Planning process, which informs site-level sale planning.