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Why sustain oak forests?Author(s): David Wm. Smith
Source: In: Dickinson, Matthew B., ed. 2006. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 62-71.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (239.15 KB)
DescriptionA brief overview and some personal thoughts are offered that deal with the implications of our social and political systems on the long-term sustainability of our forest resources. The connection of the most recent climatic events, in a geologic-time context, to the development of present day oak dominated forests of the Eastern United States is discussed. The impacts of human activity and human infrastructure during the recession of the Wisconsin Glacier that began about 15,000 years ago to the present are reviewed. Changes in eastern oak forests since European settlement in the early 1600s, and more specifically in the last half century are presented in greater detail. Also discussed are important characteristics of the more that 30 oak species native to the Eastern United States, the complexity of the oak dominated eastern forests, the uniqueness of oak species for a variety of forest products and uses to satisfy human needs, and the critical importance of the oaks for wildlife food and cover. Finally, seven reasons for sustaining oak forests are presented.
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CitationSmith, David Wm. 2006. Why sustain oak forests?. In: Dickinson, Matthew B., ed. 2006. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 62-71.
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