Friday, May 1, 2009

What is a woodlot?

Many farmers in the northeast and midwest know the answer to this question. Landowners in the west will quickly understand that their land is could be considered a woodlot. I have not heard anybody in the South consider their property a woodlot, not even the patch of woods left uncleared at the back of a pasture. A woodlot is a wooded area used by the owner to supply various forest products for sale or use. The various uses range from simple firewood and wildlife uses, to intensive timber management including clearcutting and replanting. I consider most of our property our Texas woodlot because it fits into these ideals, even if Texans seldom use the term woodlot. Texas forestry revolves around plantations and tree farming. I have taken on the mantle of woodlot because of my intended uses and strategies. I plan on using the woodlot for firewood, wildlife, refreation, and personal timber production. Generally, a plantation is intended for timber production only with a possible chance at wildlife in the form of a deer lease for extra income. I do not understand whythe Texas Forest Service is behind the curve on woodlots. Parcelization and the large number of private landowners leaves a lot of unmanaged timber in Texas. Forestry can be performed on small properties in Texas, and I aim to prove the Texas Forest Service wrong.

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