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forestry,the management of forest lands for woodwood,
botanically, the xylem tissue that forms the bulk of the stem of a woody plant. Xylem conducts sap upward from the roots to the leaves, stores food in the form of complex carbohydrates, and provides support; it is made up of various types of cells specialized for each of
..... Click the link for more information. , water, wildlife, forage, and recreation. Because the major economic importance of the forest lies in wood and wood products, forestry has been chiefly concerned with timber management, especially reforestation, maintenance of the extant forest stands at prime condition, and fire control. Silviculture is the name usually given to this manipulation of the forest for human purposes.
The Goal of Forestry
It is the chief goal of forestry to devise methods for felling trees that provide for the growth of a new forest crop and to ensure that adequate seed of desirable species is shed onto the ground and that conditions are optimal for seed germination and the survival of saplings. The basic rule of timber management is sustained yield; that is, to cut each year a volume of timber no greater than the volume of wood that grew during that year on standing trees.
Desirable timber species are usually those of the native climax vegetation (see ecologyecology,
study of the relationships of organisms to their physical environment and to one another. The study of an individual organism or a single species is termed autecology; the study of groups of organisms is called synecology.
..... Click the link for more information. ) that can perpetuate themselves by natural succession, although at times (intentionally or unintentionally) a forest may not represent the climax vegetation—such as the pine of the SE United States, which grows faster than, and has replaced, the hardwoods destroyed by fire and logging. The Douglas fir of Western forests is encouraged because it is more valuable than the climax vegetation of mixed conifers that tends to establish itself in the absence of human intervention. Planting trees of different sizes (either because of species or of age) prevents crowding and insures maximal growth for the given area. Extermination of diseases and insect pests is standard forestry practice.
The management of forest fires has developed into an independent and complex science costing approximately $100 million annually in the United States. Because of the extremely rapid spreading and customary inaccessibility of fires once started, the chief aim of this work has long been prevention. However, despite the use of modern techniques (e.g., radio communications, rapid helicopter transport, and new types of chemical firefighting apparatus) more than 10 million acres of forest are still burned annually. Of these fires, about two thirds are started accidentally by people, almost one quarter are of incendiary origin, and more than 10% are due to lightning.
Modern firefighting practice now recognizes that fires caused by lightning are an important tool of nature. Such fires do away with dead underbrush and diseased areas of growth, leaving clear areas for new growth of grass and new generations of trees. Some trees, it has been found, cannot grow without the aid of fire. The cones of the jack pine, for example, need exposure to intense heat to release seed. Other species, such as the Douglas fir and the sequoia, cannot flourish in shaded areas but need the open sunlit space cleared by fire. For such reasons lightning-caused fires in many cases—especially in wilderness areas far from habitation—are now permitted to burn but are carefully monitored and kept under control. In some cases, controlled burns, fires set by forest management personnel that are then monitored and managed, are also used to clear areas of dead and diseased growth, in order to promote new, healthy growth and prevent more intense, catastrophic wildfires.
The potential commercial value of the land lost to human-caused fire cannot be calculated: aside from the loss of timber, the damage is inestimable in terms of land rendered useless by ensuing soil erosion and flooding, elimination of wildlife cover and forage, and the loss of water reserves collected by a healthy forest. The increasingly complex interface of human habitation and wildlands that has developed since the late 20th cent. has also made wildfires a greater hazard to human life and property. Large-scale fires also are a source of air pollution, and the often uncontrolled use of burning to clear tropical forestland for farming and ranching has made pollution from forest fires a significant problem at certain times of the year in some regions.
The Forest Service and Environmental Debate
In 1960 the Forest Service was charged by law with management of the national forests according to a philosophy of sustained yield and multiple use: production of timber, preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, watershed maintenance, mining, grazing, and recreation. In 1964, however, demand for timber led the Forest Service to adopt the practice of clearcutting used also by the commercial timber industry. Vast forest tracts are stripped of all trees, leaving an unsightly bald area. Environmentalists claim that clearcut areas are liable to insect infestation, landslides, and erosion, and that runoff causes siltation of neighboring streams and spoils fish spawning grounds. Environmentalists have also decried the ecologically disruptive effects of strip mining and overgrazing in the national forests and have urged restoration of blighted areas and more equitable multiple-use management in the future. In particular, emphasis has been placed on managing the forests in terms of broad concepts of land useland use,
exploitation of land for agricultural, industrial, residential, recreational, or other purposes. Because the United States historically has a laissez-faire attitude toward land use, the land has been exploited at will for economic gain.
..... Click the link for more information. and environmental quality. Like other federal agencies, the Forest Service must now assess the environmental impact of proposed actions, such as building new roads through the forests or granting rights to drill for oil or mine for coal and other minerals (see environmental impact statementenvironmental impact statement,
analysis of the impact that a proposed development, usually industrial, will have on the natural and social environment. It includes assessment of long- and short-term effects on the physical environment, such as air, water, and noise pollution,
..... Click the link for more information. ; environmentalismenvironmentalism,
movement to protect the quality and continuity of life through conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and control of land use. The philosophical foundations for environmentalism in the United States were established by Thomas Jefferson,
..... Click the link for more information. ).
Forests are vast and valuable expanses; the necessity for government supervision has long been recognized and is today employed virtually throughout the world. The earliest known instance of organized reforestation was in Germany in 1368, and by the mid-18th cent. the practice was well established also in neighboring Austria, Switzerland, and France. German immigrants to the United States (notably Carl SchurzSchurz, Carl
, 1829–1906, American political leader, b. Germany. He studied at the Univ. of Bonn and participated in the revolutionary uprisings of 1848–49 in Germany.
..... Click the link for more information. , the first Secretary of the Interior) were instrumental in conserving the new forest lands. After the Timber Culture Act (1873), extensive planting began, although at first mostly in an attempt to forest the plains and prairies. Under President Theodore Roosevelt the first public forests were set aside (see National Forest SystemNational Forest System,
federally owned reserves, c.191 million acres (77.4 million hectares), administered by the Forest Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The system is made up of 155 national forests and 19 national grasslands in 41 states and Puerto Rico.
..... Click the link for more information. ). The Civilian Conservation CorpsCivilian Conservation Corps
(CCC), established in 1933 by the U.S. Congress as a measure of the New Deal program. The CCC provided work and vocational training for unemployed single young men through conserving and developing the country's natural resources.
..... Click the link for more information. , instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, planted about 2.25 billion trees in the decade from 1933 to 1942, and efforts in forestry have increased significantly in recent years. Today about 27% of U.S. forest is under public ownership, 17% as national forests administered by the Forest Service of the Dept. of Agriculture.
See S. W. Allen, An Introduction to American Forestry (3d ed. 1960); D. M. Smith, The Practice of Silviculture (7th ed. 1962); C. H. Stoddard, Essentials of Forestry Practice (2d ed. 1968).
a branch of social production that studies, registers, regenerates, and grows forests, protects them against fires, pests, and diseases, and regulates their use in such a way that the economy’s need for wood and other forest products is satisfied and the forests’ protective and bioregulatory functions are maintained. Forestry also organizes the use of forests for recreation and other special purposes. Among the branches of social production, forestry is distinguished by its extremely long cycle of production (50–100 years or more).
The main task of socialist forestry is to act in the interest of present and future generations by planning the rational use and preservation of forests as the most important constituent of the biosphere. Forestry’s fundamental principles include ensuring the continuous use of forests by replacing trees that are destroyed, making sure that forest resources and forest areas are fully and rationally used and that forests are regenerated, raising the quality and productivity of forests (that is, the rate at which timber reserves are accumulated), and effectively protecting forests from fires, pests, and diseases.
In capitalist countries, where most of the forests are privately owned, the purpose of forestry is to maximize profits. Often, this results in exhaustive cutting and in the destruction of forests that are important not only as a source of raw materials but also for conservation purposes. In the second half of the 20th century the heavy damage done by irrational exploitation of forests has led several capitalist countries to take limited measures to regulate the cutting and regeneration of forests. Thus, the problem of forest management has acquired social significance. The socialist economic system creates favorable conditions for the successful solution of the problem of forest management.
Historical survey. Because of the increased demand for wood for civilian and military construction and because of the development of agriculture and a variety of trades (tar distilling, charcoal burning, and hunting, for example), forestry originated as a branch of production. The history of forestry is closely associated with the origin of various forms of land ownership. Many forests were destroyed to prepare the land for farming. The use of forests without regard for their multifaceted significance often had disastrous consequences. Engels wrote, “The people in Mesopotamia, Greece, Asia Minor, and elsewhere who uprooted the forests to obtain farmland did not dream that they were laying the foundation for the present-day desolation of these countries by depriving them not only of forests but of centers for the accumulation and storage of moisture” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Sock, 2nd ed., vol. 20, p. 496). The increased consumption of wood and, consequently, the shrinking of forest areas made it necessary to regulate the cutting of forests first in the most densely populated regions and later on a wider scale. In addition, steps had to be taken to regenerate and protect forests. However, under feudalism and capitalism these measures were not very effective. Marx observed, “The development of culture and industry since antiquity resulted, in general, in such destruction of forests that everything that was done to maintain old forests and plant new ones was negligible in comparison” (ibid., vol. 24, p. 275).
In Russia several legislative acts limiting and prohibiting cutting in some forest areas were promulgated by Peter I as early as the beginning of the 18th century. The first efforts to regenerate, plant, describe, and take inventory of forests date from this period. However, forestry developed slowly in prerevolutionary Russia, chiefly because forest lands were owned by many different persons and institutions. Of all the forests in European Russia in 1914, 66 percent belonged to the state, 22 percent were privately owned, 8 percent were owned by peasants, 3 percent belonged to the imperial family, and 1 percent belonged to members of other groups. With the development of capitalism, vast forest areas, chiefly the most accessible ones, were destroyed. In European Russia alone, about 70 million hectares (ha) of forests were destroyed, and between the late 17th century and 1914 the wooded area declined from 49.5 to 32.5 percent of the country’s total area. The wooded area fell from 18.4 to 6.8 percent in Voronezh, Kursk, Poltava, and Kharkov provinces and from 37.3 to 15.3 percent in Orel, Chernigov, and Kiev provinces. Forests were destroyed so rapidly that in 1888 a law had to be passed to protect them (the Statute on the Preservation of Forests), but it did not significantly change the situation. Moreover, forests were insufficiently studied, and only very limited efforts were made to restore and protect them. In prerevolutionary Russia between the early 18th century and 1917 about 900,000 ha were set aside for afforestation. Of this area, about 200,000 ha were afforested to reclaim steppes and to stabilize sandy areas and areas badly eroded by gullies and ravines.
In the USSR. The Great October Socialist Revolution eliminated private ownership of forests and laid the foundation for a fundamentally new stage in the development of forestry. In 1918, Lenin signed an appeal by the Council of People’s Commissars which stated that “the legacy of the unfortunate war left bare vast areas which, in the interests of the people, must immediately be covered with forests …. All forests must be discovered and mapped, described, and managed .… Forests do not belong to villages, districts, provinces, or regions. They are a national resource that cannot be divided in any way” (Lesa Respubliki, 1918, no. 2, p. 98). Issued in 1918, the first decree on forests stipulated that forests must be managed “(a) in the interests of the general welfare and (b) on the basis of planned regeneration” (Collection of Laws and Regulations of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, 1918, no. 42, p. 522). From the very first days of Soviet power the Communist Party and the Soviet government have shown constant concern for the rational use and preservation of forests.
Since 1923 the main aspects of forestry and the exploitation of the country’s forest resources have been regulated by the Forest Code of the RSFSR. Depending on their economic significance, forest lands are classified as general state or local forests. The former include forests of special importance. The procedures for using and managing each category of forest are defined. A great deal of attention has been paid to the organization, study, regeneration, and planting of forests, as well as to the planned use of forest resources. In 1924 the first long-range plan for the development of forestry in the RSFSR was prepared for the period 1925–28. Its main objectives were to ensure that the continuous, planned use of timber would not exhaust the forests, to satisfy completely the state’s and the people’s demand for wood, and to ensure the maximum profitability of the forests. At this time revenue from the forests and from the export of lumber was important. Lumber was the main export of the USSR during 1928–29. In 1926, when the industrialization of the country was begun, the forests became particularly important as a source of building materials.
Because it was necessary to accelerate logging operations, exploit forest raw materials in heavily wooded areas, and protect and enlarge forests in thinly wooded areas, in 1931 the forests were divided into timber and cultivation zones, for which different conditions of use and management were established. In the cultivation zone (the Central Chernozem Zone, the Northern Caucasus, parts of the Lower Volga, the Ukraine, and Central Asia, and sparsely wooded regions of Western Siberia) the use of the forests was not to exceed the average increment (the accumulation of timber reserves resulting from the growth of the stand). Concentrated cutting was prohibited in the cultivation zone, and efforts were directed primarily toward creating new forests. In the timber zone, where there were large supplies of mature wood, the most favorable conditions were created for the development of commercial logging on a large scale.
A five-year plan for protective afforestation adopted for 1933–37 (the period of the second five-year plan) called for the creation of 350,000 ha of shelterbelts, 300,000 ha of forests to stabilize mountain slopes and gullies, and 150,000 ha of forests on lands unsuitable for agriculture. In order to promote the further development and the improvement of forestry, 75 million ha of forests (part of the cultivation zone and water conservation and protection forests in the timber zone) were placed in the special category of water conservation and protection forests in 1936. In 1943 the country’s forests were divided according to their economic significance into three groups, for each of which different management and use conditions were established, depending on their significance. This helped to raise the level of forestry and improve the organization of the use and regeneration of forest resources. The main purpose of each category of forest was considered.
As of 1943 the first group included forests of special protective significance: state preserves, soil conservation, field conservation, and health-resort forests, green zones in cities and large populated areas, coniferous strip forests in Western Siberia, and kolki (groves in small depressions). Later, protective strips along highways and railroads, restricted protective strips along river banks, nut-growing zones, and climate-regulating tundra forests were added to the first group. Special conditions were prescribed for the use of these forests, and cutting was allowed only for improvement and regeneration. With the development of industry and the growth of the urban population, this group of forests became more important. By Jan. 1, 1966, they occupied 94.7 million ha.
The second group includes forests of considerable protective as well as economic value. They are located in thinly wooded areas as well as in a number of heavily wooded areas where limited forest resources made it necessary to impose stricter controls on the use of forests and to give forestry a more important role. In these forests a great deal of work is done to regenerate and improve the stands and to increase their productivity. The forests of the second group occupy 48.3 million ha.
The third group is made up of forests in densely wooded areas, which meet most of the economy’s demand for timber. They are the main source of raw materials for the development of commercial logging. In addition, they are important for the preservation of the dynamic equilibrium of the biosphere. The forests of the third group occupy 517.5 million ha.
The functions of forestry vary from one part of the Soviet Union to another. In well-forested regions with a large supply of mature wood, specialized enterprises of the lumber industry are engaged in logging. Forestry studies, renews, conserves, protects, and takes inventories of the forests in these areas and regulates their use. In sparsely wooded regions forestry is also concerned with obtaining and initially processing the mature wood. In undeveloped (reserve) forests forestry is limited mainly to taking inventories of the forests and protecting them against fires, pests, and diseases.
The state administrative body that directs forestry in the Soviet Union is the State Forestry Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers, to which the Union republic state forestry committees and ministries are subordinate. The autonomous republics have forestry ministries or administrations, and the krais and oblasts have forestry administrations and state forestry establishments (leskhozy) (in some thinly forested regions, logging and timber distribution establishments [lespromkhozy]), which are the basic administrative units in the forestry system. Each forestry establishment has several forestry sections (lestnichestva), which are responsible for forest management and the supervision of the use of forest resources.
In 1972 the forestry system of the USSR consisted of about 2,400 state forestry establishments and logging and timber distribution establishments and 11,900 forestry sections. The average area of a state forestry establishment is about 500,000 ha, and that of a forestry section, about 100,000 ha. The size of state forestry establishments and sections varies, depending on how much forestry work is required, from tens of thousands of hectares to a million hectares or more in the undeveloped taiga regions. In the central European USSR the area of the average forestry section is 5,000–10,000 ha. The information provided by forest management is the basis for planning and for the development and location of the timber industry and branches of industry that process timber (pulp and paper, wood products, and hydrolysis enterprises).
UTILIZATION OF FORESTS. Important aspects of the utilization of natural resources are logging and the use of forests before they are felled to obtain industrial and medicinal raw materials, food, furs, and game. Forests are also used for protection, water conservation, recreation, and other special purposes. Logging, one of the chief ways in which man uses the forests, is subdivided into main cuttings (taking mature trees), intermediate cuttings (use of timber from improvement cuttings and cleanings made during the establishment of a forest), and miscellaneous cuttings made in order to clear wooded areas for industrial and other purposes and for telephone and electric lines.
As productive forces develop, the need for timber in industry and construction is growing quickly. Between 1966 and 1972 the world’s annual timber yield was more than 2 billion cu m. Nonetheless, the timber shortage is becoming more and more serious. In the USSR the consumption of timber is rising rapidly. Under Soviet power major steps have been taken to develop and improve the geographic distribution of the logging and wood products industries, to exploit the raw materials available in the densely forested regions of the north, the Urals, Siberia, and the Far East, and to reduce cuttings in thinly forested areas. Forests are used intensively in the European USSR, including the Urals. Siberia and the Far East also offer major opportunities for the development of the logging and wood products industries.
Most of the country’s demand for timber is satisfied by main cuttings (about 87 percent of the total in 1970–72). Different systems of main cutting are applied in the USSR, depending on the economic significance of a forest, growing conditions, and the biological characteristics of the stands. Clear-cutting is the leading method, accounting for about 95 percent of all cuttings. Succession and selective cuttings are also made, especially in the first of the three groups of forests established in 1943, and in exploitation-protection mountain forests. Regional regulations have been devised and introduced for cuttings in the forests of all the Union republics. They take into account the biological characteristics and multifaceted significance of the forests. Improvement cutting is important in establishing and growing valuable stands. It is also useful for obtaining additional timber while the stands are growing.
Forests are a source of industrial and medicinal raw materials, food products, furs, and much game. Beekeeping is also important in the forests. Forest areas include a substantial number of hayfields and pastures which are used to increase the supply of fodder for animal husbandry. The bioregulatory, protective, recreational, and other special aspects of forests are becoming increasingly important in the 20th century, the century of the scientific and technological revolution.
Reforestation and afforestation are major functions of forestry. The first attempts at artificial afforestation in Russia were made in the early 18th century by order of Peter I. Steppe afforestation was begun on a larger scale in the late 18th century and the early 19th. Between 1817 and 1857 more than 16,000 ha of forests were planted in treeless regions of the Ukraine, chiefly on sand. The Ministry of State Properties, which was organized in 1837–38 and charged with managing the state forests, initiated a policy of regular afforestation. In 1886 the state began to create shelterbelts along water divides in Samara, Saratov, Orenburg, Voronezh, and Stavropol’ provinces.
Considerable attention was paid to reforestation and afforestation after the Great October Revolution. Specialists worked out methods and technology for planting forests under a variety of growing conditions, and machines and devices were developed to mechanize the work of growing seedlings and sowing and planting forests. Arboricides and herbicides for the chemical care of forests came into use. The USSR leads the world in reforestation. Considerable importance is attached to taking advantage of a forest’s capacity for natural regeneration. Appropriate systems of cutting are chosen and the young generation (regrowth) of trees is protected to ensure natural regeneration over large areas. The eighth five-year plan (1966–70) provided for the reforestation of 11.2 million ha, including 6.4 million ha that were to be reforested by sowing and setting out seedlings. During these five years, 1.2 million ha of trees were planted in gullies and ravines and on sand and eroded lands in order to protect the soil against water and wind erosion. In addition, 261,000 ha of shelterbelts were planted on kolkhozes and sovkhozes. The country’s forestry establishments have more than 11,000 nurseries, where about 7.1 billion seedlings and 150 million saplings of more than 120 species of trees and shrubs are raised every year. Forestry experts are working to create a permanent forest seed facility, applying the principle of selection. Reforestation is becoming more highly mechanized.
The vast area of forests in the USSR (more than half of the country), their location, and differences in their degree of development have necessitated the use of different methods of protecting them against fires, pests, and diseases. The State Forest Protection Service is part of the forestry system. In populated areas that have a fairly good network of roads, fire protection can be provided on the ground, but in heavily wooded, sparsely populated, and poorly developed regions, airplanes and helicopters are used. The Forest Protection Service and forest pathologists systematically inspect forests to detect foci of pests and diseases promptly and to take the necessary steps to eradicate or localize them. Pest and disease control stations have been organized in several wooded areas. Chemicals are widely used to exterminate pests, but biological control measures are also applied.
The development of forestry in the USSR has depended on advances in the science of forestry and in the training of qualified personnel. In 1972, 14 institutes, two laboratories, and 58 forest experiment stations were conducting research on forestry. In addition, 14 wood technology, technological, and agricultural institutes conduct forestry research. Forestry engineers are trained in about 20 higher educational institutions, and specialists with intermediate qualifications, in technicums.
Further improvements in forestry are anticipated as a result of the development of better equipment and chemicals, greater use of forest resources and state forest lands, and increased productivity and improved quality of forests. A greater effort will be made to care for the forests and to provide better protection against diseases, pests, and fires.
In foreign countries. The rapid increase in timber consumption and the increasing timber shortage in many countries have led to intensified efforts to protect forests. At the same time, the industrially developed capitalist countries are paying more attention to the many functions of forests. Reforestation and the creation of new forests have become more important. Foresters are raising productivity and shortening the period required to grow forests by altering the forest-growing environment, by selection, and by intensive forest management. In subtropical and tropical countries specialists are establishing plantations of rapidly growing species and improving existing forests. Foresters in the temperate zone and in northern countries are improving local forests and devoting most of their efforts to coniferous species. In the Scandinavian countries and some other European countries deciduous species are systematically removed from forests, except in the most productive stands. In a number of European countries and in the USA and Canada the productivity of forests is increased by the use of mineral fertilizers and by the improvement of forest lands. However, the capitalist social system and private ownership of forests are considerable obstacles to the development of forestry. Despite the adoption of various measures, random cutting is allowed in privately owned forests, and the most valuable stands are intensively exploited for profit. Not enough attention is paid to the development of forestry and to the need to preserve the various functions of forests.
Forestry has made great progress in the socialist countries. Between 1946 and 1970 at least 1 million ha of new forests and 250,000–300,000 ha of plantings of industrial and protective significance were established in all the socialist countries of Europe (excluding the USSR), and 3 million ha of forests were regenerated on clear-cut areas. A great deal of work is being done to improve the genus composition of forests and to increase their productivity by expanding and perfecting the techniques of improvement cutting, setting out seedlings, sowing the seeds of valuable tree species, using new species, carrying out reclamation measures, and applying fertilizers.
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels. Sock, 2nd ed., vol. 24.
Engels, F. Dialektika prirody. Ibid., vol. 20.
Melekhov, I. S. Ocherk razvitiia nauki o lese v Rossii. Moscow, 1957.
Tsepliaev, V. P. Lesnoe khoziaistvo SSSR. Moscow, 1965.
Les—natsional’noe bogatstvo sovetskogo naroda. Moscow, 1967.
Lesnoe khoziaistvo SSSR za 50 let. Moscow, 1967.
Melekhov, I. S. Problemy sovremennogo lesovodstva. Moscow, 1969.
Moiseev, N. A. Osnovnye tendentsii ispol’zovaniia i vosproizvodstva lesnykh resursov v zarubezhnykh stranakh. Moscow, 1971.
Morozov, G. F. Izbr. trudy, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1970–71.
Lesnoe khoziaistvo v sisteme planiruemoi ekonomiki. Edited by P. V. Vasil’ev and T. Molenda. Warsaw, 1972.
V. A. NIKOLAIUK and N. N. SEMENCHENKO
(1) A branch of plant science that specializes in the cultivation of forests for timber and other wood products and for protective, water-regulatory, aesthetic, and medical and health purposes. Sometimes the term “forestry” is used in a broader sense as a synonym for forest management.
(2) The science of the natural characteristics of forests and of the methods of cultivating and improving them and raising their productivity. As a science, forestry is divided into silvics (the study of the natural characteristics of forests) and forestry proper, which develops techniques and technology for cultivating forests under various natural, production, and economic conditions. In higher educational institutions of forestry in the USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia forestry as an educational discipline is divided into general studies, which includes natural history (silvics), specialized studies (the system and methods of felling, methods of natural afforestation, and methods of increasing forest yields), and forestation (previously called special forestry).
The rudiments of forestry originated in ancient Greece and Rome. In the third century B.C., Theophrastus devoted one of his books to forest trees. The Roman poet Virgil formulated several hypotheses on the care of forests, and the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who considered forests a divine gift to man, paid even more attention to forestry than his contemporaries. Scientific interest in forestry increased in 18th-century Europe. This development was associated with C. Linnaeus, who wrote a book on afforestation, Duhamel du Monceau (France), who described all branches of forestry, H. C. Kotta, F. Pfeil and T. Hartig (Germany), who worked out important problems in forestry, and M. V. Lomonosov, Fokel’, A. T. Bolotov, S. P. Krasheninnikov, A. A. Nartov, and V. N. Tatishchev, who set forth the principles of forests and forestry in Russia.
In the first half of the 19th century higher educational institutions for forestry, which played a major role in the development of education in forestry and forest management, were established in a number of European countries. The Forestry Institute (now the S. M. Kirov Leningrad Forestry Academy) opened in 1803 in Tsarskoe Selo. Later, it was moved to St. Petersburg. In Germany the Forestry Academy (1816, Tarandt; now the forest management faculty of the Technical University of Dresden) and the Eberswald Forestry Academy (1830; now the Scientific Research Institute of Forestry) opened. The Higher Forestry School was founded in 1824 in Nancy, France. In Sweden the Higher Forestry School was established in 1828 in Stockholm. In Czechoslovakia the forestry faculty of the Higher Agricultural School of Brno was founded in 1816, and the Institute of Forestry and Timber was organized in the city of Zvolen in 1807. In Hungary the University of Forest Management and the Timber Industry was opened in Sopron in 1808. Forestry education and forest science originated in the USA at the end of the 19th century. Today forestry is part of the curricula of 50 universities and other higher educational institutions in the USA.
Experiments in the forestry preserves of educational institutions have been of great importance to the study of forests. Established in 1787, the Lisinskoe Forestry Section (near Leningrad) is one of the oldest preserves in the world and was the first in Russia. The birthplace of scientific steppe afforestation, the Velikoanadol’skoe Forestry Section, was founded in southern Russia in 1843. The experimental forestry dacha of the Petrov-skii Agricultural and Forestry Academy (the K. A. Timiriazev Moscow Agricultural Academy) was founded in 1965. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th a network of experimental forestry sections was organized in various parts of Russia for systematic applied scientific research.
The forests of the northern European USSR, Siberia, the Far East, the Urals, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and other areas are being studied intensively. Soviet scientists have deepened their study of forests. The economic and biogeocenotic foundations of forestry and the classification of types of forests have been worked out, the genetic and dynamic typologies of forests have been developed, and forests have been classified according to their role in water conservation. Forests are considered an important component of the biosphere, as well as a source of raw materials.
Since the Great October Socialist Revolution G. N. Vysotskii, V. N. Sukachev, M. E. Tkachenko, M. M. Orlov, N. V. Tret’-iakov, L. I. Iashnov, N. P. Kobranov, A. P. Tol’skii, L. A. Iva-nov, and many groups of scientists have made major contributions in forestry. Scientists abroad, especially in European countries, the USA, Canada, and Japan, are doing important projects in forestry. In Australia, New Zealand, the Latin American and African countries, and many countries in Southeast Asia, forestry has developed appreciably.
It is crucial that the problem of increasing the forest yield be solved. The measures aimed at solving this problem include efficient use of forest resources, a campaign against losses, steps aimed at affecting the natural conditions of forest growth (such as forest drainage projects and fertilization), and improvement of forest composition by introducing fast-growing and high-yield species.
Forestry deals with the theory and practice of general cuttings and improvement cuttings for the purpose of utilizing or restoring the forests and cultivating high-yield stands. Geographic considerations are becoming more and more important for the theory and practice of forestry. For example, forestry is being subdivided geographically, and practical forestry measures are being developed with respect to different geographic regions. Taiga, steppe, forest-steppe, mountain, subtropical, and tropical forestry have developed. The problem of cultivating forests on the tundra, in semiarid regions, and in the desert remains to be solved. Landscape forestry is becoming more important in suburban and other forests.
Scientists are beginning to use the methods of modern biology, physics, mathematics, and cybernetics to solve problems in forestry. In applied forestry advances in mechanization and chemistry (herbicides and arboricides) and the achievements of selection and genetics are being used. The scientific problems of forestry are being solved in research institutes of forestry, higher educational institutions of forestry, and experimental forestry stations.
The expansion of international scientific ties is contributing to the development of forestry. Scientific research by the scientists of socialist countries is coordinated through the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, and bilateral and multilateral agreements are being worked out between scientific forestry institutions of the USSR and other countries. World forestry congresses, which have been held regularly since 1926, are playing an expanding role in the scientific and technical progress of forestry and other forest sciences. (Seven world congresses were held between 1926 and 1973.)
The oldest international organization devoted to forest science is the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO). The proposal for the founding of this organization was made in 1890 in Vienna at a congress of agriculture and forestry. IUFRO was officially established in Eberswald, Germany, in 1892. As of 1972 the organization had conducted 15 international congresses. It establishes contacts between scientists and scientific institutions, arranges for the exchange of information on forestry problems, works out standard nomenclature and research methods, puts international forestry bibliographies in order, and keeps an index of terminology. Among the union’s important goals is to encourage scientists from different countries who are working on a given problem to establish and implement joint research programs.
In the USSR work on the theoretical and applied problems of forestry are published in the transactions of academies and institutes, in monographs, and in the journals Lesnoe khoziaistvo (Forest Management; since 1948), Lesnoi zhurnal (Forest Journal; since 1958), and Lesovedenie (Silvics; since 1967). Certain problems in forestry are also treated in other scientific and industrial journals, including Vestnik sel’skokhoziaistvennoi nauki (Agricultural Science; 1956) and Lesnaia promyshlennost’ (Forest Industry; 1941).
REFERENCESTkachenko, M. E. Obshchee lesovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955.
Gulisashvili, V. Z. Gornoe lesovodstvo dlia uslovii Kavkaza. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Melekhov, I.S. Ocherk razvitiia nauki o lese v Rossii Moscow, 1957.
Pogrebniak, P. S. Obshchee lesovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1963.
Osnovy lesnoi biogeotsenologii. Edited by V. N. Sukachev and N. V. Dylis. Moscow, 1964.
Melekhov, I.S. Rubki glavnogo pol’zovaniia. Moscow, 1966.
Voprosy taezhnogo lesovodstvo na Evropeiskom Severe. Moscow, 1967.
Pravdin, L. F. Tropicheskoe i subtropicheskoe lesovodstvo. Moscow, 1969.
Morozov, G. F. Izbr. trudy, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1970–71.
Bel’gard, A. L. Stepnoe lesovedenie. Leningrad, 1971.
Melekhov, I.S. Lesovedenie i lesovodstvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.
I. S. MELEKHOV