Owners have different processes
Private, state and federal owners all follow a different process
Idaho forest landowners, which include federal, state and local governments, small businesses, large corporations, tribes, families and individuals, have different management objectives. Some forest landowners grow timber to be harvested into wood products. Others focus on wildlife habitat or restoring forest health and fire resiliency. Many try to find a balance between environmental and economic values. It’s the job of professional foresters to come up with a forest management plan that meets the landowner’s specific goals.
What are the Types of Forest Management?
Wood production: Forests managed mostly for income or timber production by large and small private landowners or tribes, in accordance with forest protection laws.
FOREST FACT: Private forests supply about three-quarters of the annual statewide timber harvest.
Reserve: Forests managed and conserved mostly for environmental and cultural reasons, with limited timber harvest are reserve forests. These forests are largely owned by the federal government and may be set aside as parks or wilderness areas, or as riparian, old-growth or endangered species habitat.
Multi-resource: Forests managed for multiple uses, including recreation, water, wildlife habitat and timber production. These forestlands are primarily in public, tribal and private ownership.
Forest Management on Federal, State and Private Lands
The management process on US Forest Service timberlands in Idaho is long and complex. Any proposed management project must go through an analysis process which takes time and money. Currently more than 80 laws govern the national forests. To learn more about the process the US Forest Services uses to manage Idaho’s federal forests, click here.
On federal lands, teams of foresters, biologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, silviculturists, archaeologists, and wildlife managers help prepare timber sales. They must adhere to environmental laws that protect water, air quality, and threatened or endangered wildlife. An environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement covering management decisions must be prepared for public review.
Idaho’s Forest Practices Act
Logging and other forest activities are regulated by Idaho’s Forest Practices Act which is administered by the Idaho Department of Lands. The Act requires logging practices be designed specifically to protect water quality and fish habitat, and requires that harvested lands be reforested.
On state and private lands, state law mandates that all harvest site be open to inspection by state officials in order to verify that all regulations are being obeyed and that good forest management practices are being used to keep Idaho’s water clean. Inspections continue for several years after harvest to ensure that new forests are replanted and that growth is successful.
Idaho State Endowment Trust Lands
Idaho Department of Lands manages more than 2.4 million acres of state endowment trust land under a Constitutional mandate to maximize long term financial returns to a number of State institutions, mainly public schools. A large portion of the annual income for the endowment trusts is derived from the sale and harvest of timber, which the IDL actively manages on state endowment trust forest lands.
To ensure the long-term health, vigor, productivity, and expected financial returns of the endowment trust forest, every year IDL timber personnel prepare and reforest harvested sites, pre-commercial thin, and manage noxious weeds on thousands of acres of endowment forests.