maximum value
Responsible stewardship requires maximizing the value produced. Waste is the failure to maximize the value produced or provided by the land. If veneer logs are graded into saw logs, or pulp wood their value is diminished. Or worse if the veneer logs are allowed to over-age and are taken by wind, insect, or fire - their value is ignored. Equally, if a stream bank is allowed to become devegetated through inappropriate harvesting, grazing, or recreational use, the capacity to spawn fish is diminished - it's value is ignored. If the management of the land fore-goes value in the course of managing the land, the fruit of the land is neglected and it's ability to bear fruit loses it's value. As long as management attends the ability of the land to produce value, the land will remain healthy and robust. The instrinsic properties of each site define the options for producing this value. Some sites with deep loamy soils will produce excellent growth conditions for valuable hardwoods. They may sustain some grazing in the under growth. Sandy, drier sites may be limited to pines. Steep, stoney sites may be better off left to shrubs, berries, and browse. Management strategies must be consistent with the properties of the land.

In an age when "man knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing" (Oscar Wilde) it is an everpresent challenge to recognize all forms of value in the land. We have to view the land through eyes we do not have, and recon what we see with lives we do not live.

multiple use
Multiple land use is required to secure the highest possible value now and into the future. Grazing at the appropriate levels can dramatically reduce fuel loads in the understory and retard the spread and intensity of fires. Areas where understory fuel loads are low will rarely experience crown fires, reducing risk to mature trees and seedlings, enabling management to retain stands into veneer or utility pole grades. Viewing harvested product from new and open perspectives captures value from unexpected sources. Some states offer reduced land taxes in exchange for limited hunter access. Granting hunter access permissions can secure allies from unexpected places. The grazing lease may pro-vide the level of human presence required to frustrate timber theft and supplement road maintenance (and fire breaks) costs. Harvesting areas to provide sustained yields (annual cash flows) is also excellent for wild-life habitat quality. The strip cuts provide desirable edge affect, and thinning affords surface vegetation growth, stimulates crown develop-ment, and increases mast production. Watershed protection under govern-ment grants and support programs provide excellent annual cashflow while supporting selected tree plantings.

Multiple land use is simply a multi-faceted common sense approach to maximizing value and sustaining the land's capacity for producing that value into the future.

Responsible land stewardship is the primary objective of Caswell Forest Products. We practice it every day from Maine to Honduras on tens of thousands of acres of managed lands today.

This is achieved through a very long view. We refer to it as "forever" but it's really only a few generations. It is what enables us to see a seedling and envision veneer wood or utility poles. It is seeing stream bank ero-sion and envisioning diminished fish spawning success. Or contributing to several generations of genetic engineering blight resistant American Chestnut and imagining future gener-ations hunting deer and turkey that wintered on chestnuts produced by blight resistant strains.

Managing land is like steering an aircraft carrier - it takes a good deal of time and energy to remedy an erroneous course. Be sure of your intended destination and follow your course carefully.