An Earth Day Message: Sustainability through Forestry

There are three pillars of sustainability – socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable. Here at Red River Specialties, we pride ourselves on partnering with landowners, corporations, and industry groups who recognize the importance of sustainable forestry practices. We encourage foresters to continue in the sound practices that contribute to our overall sustainability.  We must maintain promoting these practices in order to provide for a healthy landscape while still providing needed products grown on our timberland for many generations.

For more information, watch this video from Technical Sales Representative Robby Keen, who has been in the Forestry industry for 35+ years!

Forestry practices in the Southeastern United States are some of the most sustainable agricultural practices globally. Early In the 20th century, much of the land in the Southeast that was in row crop production was converted to trees and managed forest. This was the beginning of sustainable practices being adopted by private landowners and industry landowners alike.  Many Pine forests in this area are now even-aged and managed pine stands that are typically harvested after 25-35 years of growth.

Once harvested, early site-preparations are done on the land, which include herbicide treatments to eliminate competitive weeds, unwanted tree species and controlled burning. These methods ensure successful regeneration of the harvested areas. Pine seedlings are then planted in rows by hand or by machine. For every tree that was harvested, usually 4-6 trees are planted in its place! In the first year of growth, it is critical to keep weeds and other plants at bay to ensure that the seedling is getting sufficient water and sunlight. After year one, the trees are left to grow on their own until years 12-15. At that age, some trees are cut down (i.e thinning) for pulpwood, which provides consumers with paper, absorbent pulp, cardboard fiberboard and other fiber-based products. Thinning reduces competition among the remaining trees in the stand, promotes growth, reduces fire risk, is a deterrent to insect infestations and helps the overall health of the forest. Thus, resulting in a continuous cycle of sustainable pine forest management.

sustainability through forestry

In addition to the sustainable characteristics of modern forestry, forestry often protects, promotes and sustains wildlife by providing a diverse habitat. Since there are openings, thermal/ thick cover and older growth trees all on the same landscape wildlife flourish.  In the southeast US alone, there are many millions of acres of pine forests that provide habitat for hundreds of different species of animals including some threatened such as: Louisiana pine snake, gopher tortoise, and bald eagles to name a few. Along with the terrestrial species benefitting from sustainable forestry practices aquatic species benefit as well, practices promoting water quality for the seasonal and permanent streams are used to ensure we all maintain clean water, lakes and even oceans.

The old saying of “it doesn’t count unless its documented” seems that’s been true for forestry in the US. But thankfully, we’re documenting our sustainable practices now. Through organizations such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc, and Forest Stewardship Council certifying over 98 million acres in the US. This is documentation that the industry has been and continues to take care of the forest and those species that live in or near it.

Have Questions? We’re here to help!

Red River Specialties, an Azelis company, has experienced representatives that can help you make the right decision for your land management objectives. We are ready to provide you with a safe and effective solution.

Talk to one of our technical experts to get started today!

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