Timber harvesting allows foresters to shape the forest toward management goals—for example, striking the balance between young and older forest needed to encourage a variety of wildlife species. Managing harvests while maintaining the long-term health and productivity of state lands is the job of the DNR Forestry timber sales program staff. Timber sales from land managed by DNR Forestry contribute the dollars needed to operate a variety of public services, including public schools.
Why harvest timber from state lands?
The most obvious reason is to produce income for public programs. But timber harvest is also an important part of the stewardship of actively growing forests. Wisely planned harvest helps forests thrive while maintaining and even enhancing features such as space for outdoor recreation and some types of wildlife habitat. Timber harvest is also an important source of economic activity.
Perhaps the most down-to-earth reason for harvesting timber on state land, however, is that wood products permeate our everyday lives. And wood products produced from state-owned timber are among the most environmentally sound products you can buy. Why?
- First, wood, unlike many other raw materials, is a renewable resource.
- Second, because of various laws and the need for public accountability, wood products made from state-managed trees carry with them the guarantee that the loggers who harvested the wood did their work in a way that protects forests for the future.
- Third, wood products are more energy friendly to manufacture than many products made from other raw materials.
Interested in harvesting on privately-owned woodlands? The Forest Stewardship Program provides landowner assistance on timber harvesting and sales.