Managed Forests and the Environment
According to the U.S. Forest Service, forested watersheds provide drinking water for over 180 million Americans. For 25 million Californians, drinking water flows from the forested watersheds of the Klamath-Cascade Region. Forests play a vital role in capturing, filtering, and supplying cool, clean water throughout the year.
Forest watersheds consist of underground reservoirs and surface streams.
Drought and disease in forest landscapes can put forest watersheds at significant risk. Wildfire especially in unmanaged forests can lead to catastrophic outcomes for watersheds. The aftermath of catastrophic wildfire can lead to soil erosion, landslides and flooding, which puts riparian zones, and water supply at significant risk.
Foresters, hydrologists, and biologists protect forest watersheds through continuous monitoring of sedimentation and ecosystem health, and through harvest restrictions around watersheds.
By managing our forests we are helping to ensure that we have clean water for drinking, recreation, and wildlife.
Trees reduce the impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is the process in which trees breathe in CO2 and exhale oxygen. Through this process trees store vast amounts of carbon in their trunks, roots and limbs as they grow. Trees do this at different rates for their entire life. When a tree dies and begins to decompose. When a tree decomposes the carbon it once stored is then released back into the atmosphere and soil.
when a tree is harvested, the wood product it creates continues to store carbon throughout the life of the product.
Decomposing trees can be beneficial to wildlife and are an essential part of natural habitat, which is why foresters and wildlife biologist make sure that trees crucial to wildlife habitat are left unharvested.
Forests are home to vast amounts of wildlife species, from owls and birds to insects, fish, rodents and large mammals. The Klamath-Cascade Region is home to over 600 plant and animal species, 180 of them are threatened or endangered. Working forests safeguard special habitats to help animals thrive.
Wildlife require all stages of forest development. The three most typical types of forests are;
Young open forests
Managed, working forests involve harvesting a small percentage of the total area every few years: keeping the life-cycle progressing from older, to young, to middle-aged, to older, and repeat.
Forests of every age are important to sustaining biodiversity of wildlife.
Managed forests assure each of the 3 age-classes are always part of the landscape.