Interface Forestry logo, egg-shaped logo bordered by recycling arrows with ponderosa pine tree and roots

Interface Forestry

forest stewardship in the wildland-urban interface

Notes and Research

Forest Stewardship Plans

The basic function of a forest or stand stewardship plan is to identify stewardship objectives, provide a useful and thorough inventory and analysis of existing resources, and offer some specific and productive guidance for meeting those objectives. Our plans meet these needs. We include a detailed schedule of treatments for each stand on the forest with accompanying photo-image-based maps, schedule forms, and other useful tools to make future stewardship effective, consistent, and documentable.

The typical stand plan will include a report containing a simple schedule of treatments and expected stand growth and periodic yield values, if timber or biomass production is a stewardship goal. The report will also include maps that identify harvest access roads, log landings, and other relevant and useful features to facilitate efficient stewardship operations.

The typical forest plan depends upon stand data and stand plans, but is more complex, as different cover types usually have different long-term treatment schedules and differing stewardship constraints. (For example, stand entry might be detrimental during the spring in the context of wildlife management objectives.) These constraints create a complex but manageable scenario that requires clear communication in order to be effective. Thus, we try to make our planning documents reader-friendly. Our forest plans commonly include:

  1. A physical site description and inventory of the stand or forest. This section includes useful image-based maps and summaries of the stand tables, which are located in appendices.
  2. A clear statement and discussion of forest stewardship objectives.
  3. A rule-set for solving multiple-objective conflicts. Often, when planning for multiple objectives, some objectives will conflict with others, especially at the stand level. For instance, a large property managed for elk populations might require some stands to be far more dense than a restoration objective would recommend. Or for example, stands in proximity to burnable structures might require a more intense and immediate fuel reduction treatment than stands more remote from buildings. Other stands might require a lighter treatment or no treatment at all due to uses such as elk habitat. Other areas, such as riparian zones, might be legally off limits to treatments.

    In cases like these, we will have to formulate rules for resolving the conflicts between objectives. Sometimes we create special use-zones, for instance, based on proximity to a residence or known wildlife habitat. In other cases we can simply give more weight to one objective, so that by default, we manage these stands in stands for the weighted objective.
  4. A target stand for each forest cover type represented on the property. The target stands will provide the reference for designing individual stand management plans.
  5. A silviculture plan and treatment schedule for every stand on the property, with explanatory, image-based maps, easy-to-read schedules, and clear instructions for future foresters and operators. Each stand plan will include estimates of projected growth and yield values. Stand growth is reported in units of volume (cubic and board feet). Yield estimates include per acre measures of timber volume, biomass volume, and number of trees harvested and retained. These general cover type schedules are linked to a treatment schedule for
  6. An explanation and description of the expected effects, benefits, and costs of forest operations and treatments in regards to stewardship objectives. This assessment of costs and benefits includes a cost-benefit analysis for production-based objectives.

Return to Top of Page