Our forests provide many public benefits. 73% of the forests in the Northeast are ‘family forests’, owned by individuals and families. Reaching these tens of thousands of family forest owners with research based information to help inform their decisions about the management and protection of their land is critical to maintaining the benefits that flow from these lands at the present time and into the future.
Paul Catanzaro, an extension forester in the Department of Natural Resources Conservation, working in collaboration with Anthony D’Amato, PhD student at the time and current Assistant Professor of Silviculture at the University of Minnesota, developed a research based outreach publication titled, “High Grade Harvesting: Understand the Impacts, Know Your Options.”
High grade harvesting, or “high grading”, is a practice in which mainly the valuable high quality trees are removed, leaving behind a wood-lot of predominantly low-quality, low-value, slow growing trees, and resulting in negative financial impacts that can last decades.
Concerned about the impacts of high grading, the NY Chapter of the Society of American Foresters distributed copies of the UMass Extension High Grade Harvesting publication as part of their discussion on the issue.
This week, the New York State Forester sent an open letter to landowners in that state describing the critical role that they, as stewards of the land, play in conserving New York’s forests. Along with the letter, copies of the Catanzaro and D’Amato publication were mailed to give landowners science-based information about the impacts of this type of harvesting practice.
This work highlights not only the importance of research-based extension to address critical issues in Massachusetts and beyond, but also highlights the opportunities for NRC students to become involved with helping to address real world issues.