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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.