Forest Management

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forest management

[′fär·əst ‚man·ij·mənt]
Measures concerned with the effective organization of a forest to ensure continued production of its goods and services.

Forest Management


the various activities involved in regulating forest lands, describing them (forest valuation), taking inventory, studying forests, and working out long-term plans for the management of forest lands.

Forest management establishes the main principles for the most efficient use and regeneration of forest resources, sets the age at which trees may be cut, calculates the amount of wood to be felled (optimum rate for annual cutting of forest), and establishes the methods and extent of improvement cuttings, reforestation, and other work. Special attention is paid to developing scientifically sound recommendations for the most rational exploitation of forest lands, increasing the productivity of forests, and expanding their uses. Efforts to plan and develop forest lands are being expanded. There will be further improvements in the comprehensive use of forests.

In Russia inventories of forests were first made and forests were first systematically studied in 1842. Before 1916, 141 million hectares (ha) of forests were surveyed and inventoried, including 39 million ha of managed forest lands. Under Soviet power all of the nation’s forest lands (an area of more than 1.2 billion ha) were surveyed and inventoried, using ground and aerial methods. The area of managed forests exceeds 550 million ha. More than 40 million ha are put under forest management every year. Forest management uses the data obtained by aerial photographic surveys, measurement and interpretation apparatus, computers, and cartographic techniques. Once every four or five years the forest lands of the USSR are inventoried in order to check systematically on the dynamics of the forest resources. At this time, forest management data are revised to take into account changes that have taken place since the last inventory.

In the foreign socialist countries, as in the USSR, all forest lands are managed. In capitalist countries such as the USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Japan, which have a well-developed timber industry and forestry, the role of forest management is steadily growing because of the rising economic and ecological significance of the forests and because of industry’s desire to prevent the exhaustion of forest resources. Forest management is not yet a factor in the underdeveloped countries, where the main problem is the discovery and mapping of forest areas.


Bogoslovskii, S. A. Novye techeniia v lesoustroistve. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
Osnovy lesoustroistva. Moscow, 1961.
Baitin, A. A., I. V. Logvinov, and D. P. Stoliarov. Lesoustroistvo v zarubezhnykh stranakh. Moscow, 1964.
Table 1. Forest area of the world and timber reserves
 Total area (million ha)Forest area (1971 summary; million ha)Timber reserves (billion cu m)
   Forest1areaForested2areaLand under forest (percent)1963 inventory; (total)1971 summary
1Total area officially classed as forest lands, excluding unforested areas, such as pastures, hayfields, arable land, bodies of water, and unused sections, including swamps, sands, and steep slopes 2Forest area excluding land not covered by forests, such as burned-out areas, dead stands, cleared forest areas that have been afforested, and light forests
Source: The journal Unasylva, nos. 101–103, 1971; the book Lesnye resursy i promyshlennoe ispol’zovanie drevesiny za rubezhom, Leningrad, 1972
Europe (excluding the USSR)........4711441382912.013.48.2
North America.................1,8757507103844.059.039.5
Latin America .................2,0319667943978.8122.92.8
Asia (excluding the USSR) .........2,7005505191917.042.87.0
Australia and Oceania ............8429692113.85.00.3
Entire world................13,0334,1323,70029238.4357.5124.5
USSR’s share of world resources (percent)................16.422.
Lesnoe khoziaistvo v sisteme planiruemoi ekonomiki. Edited by P. V. Vasil’ev and T. Molenda. Warsaw, 1972.


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