Sure, you expect your forests to do a lot: provide jobs and timber, store carbon, shelter wildlife, and support the ecosystem. But how much of each function is enough? And worse, how much is too much for the forest to survive?

Now landowners large and small have a tool allowing them to visualize different harvest schemes that deliver different returns — timber, carbon, habitat or some combination: the Ecotrust Forest Planner.

Historically, Ecotrust has worked to demonstrate that forests could be managed ecologically, for the long run, and return a profit. Now the focus is on ecological and social, as well as financial, returns.

Peter Hayes, for example, owns and operates Hyla Woods — three forested properties that span 820 acres in Oregon’s northern coastal range. For years, Hayes has been thinking about how he can capitalize on the carbon sequestration provided by his forest. The Forest Planner will help him determine sequestration levels based on different management scenarios.

“Business-as-usual forestry has some significant liabilities. Having access to reliable information about the potential consequences of our different choices is really important,” Hayes says. “Our fundamental goal is to find approaches to forestry that work as well in the long run as they do in the short run.”And now that carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat protection mean potential revenue for forest owners, Hayes says the Forest Planner will give forest managers a sense of how those new revenues contribute to the bottom line over time.

You can learn more about the Ecotrust Forest Planner here, or watch a video about how it works:

Forestry is the theme of this week’s Sundown Concert, sponsored by the Oregon State University School of Forestry which recently ranked seventh in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. OSU is chartering a motor coach to transport dozens of faculty and staff to the Thursday concert and private rooftop sponsor party.

For the third week, PRP.FM will have a booth at the Innovation Showcase Thursday night. Please visit us and enjoy the music of The Builders and the Butchers and Melville!

More concert details here.

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Rebecca Webb
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