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Exploring the Origins of Ecological Forestry in North America

Formally Refereed
Authors: Anthony W. D'Amato, Brian J. Palik, Jerry F. Franklin, David R. Foster
Year: 2017
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Journal of Forestry


The use of ecological forestry to achieve management objectives, such as the maintenance of native biodiversity, has become increasingly common on public and private ownerships in North America. These approaches generally use natural disturbance processes and their structural and compositional outcomes as models for designing silvicultural prescriptions that restore or sustain complex structural and compositional conditions in actively managed forests. Although the origin of ecological forestry is generally credited to approaches developing out of the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s (Franklin 1989), there is a great richness and tradition in applying ecological principles to guide forest management in North America that far predates these important contributions. This Roots article explores the early history of ecological forestry, culminating in the contributions of early scientists at the Harvard Forest that resulted in the first use of this term in the North American forestry literature by Steven Spurr and Al Cline in their 1942 Journal of Forestry article (Spurr and Cline 1942).


D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Foster, David R. 2017. Exploring the Origins of Ecological Forestry in North America. Journal of Forestry. 115(2): 126-127.