Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Forest Manager

A Handbook for Farm Woodlot Owners and Others Who Manage Their Woodlands by Dr. Karl Dannecker and published by The American Forestry Association in 1939. The book discusses the topic I have been looking for in forestry books for a long time. Dauerwald, a German idea that treats the forest as a single living organism. The book is actually a translation of the original german text and omits sections specific to Germany, such as laws. It also makes some minor adjustments to adapt the original work to American forests. They actually weigh the options of every management type in the book. You can tell that the uneven aged selection method is favored in specific forms. By selecting the inferior first, you can build a better forest. The inability to regenerate intolerant species such as oak has been the main argument against selection management styles. This is the first book that outlines a method to completely avoid those problems. It is also the only book I have seen that focuses on forest soils as the key to a healthy forest. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to manage a healthy, biodiverse, uneven-aged forest and wants to keep oaks as a component. I believe the reason this method dropped out of favor is it was a German idea in the '30's so American did not want anything to do with it and the Germans actually stopped using it during the war because they needed all the material they could get.

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