The big forest revolution is on the horizon and it’s set to have a huge impact on how we use our forests.
That’s the message of a report from the Forest Innovation Network (FIRN) which was released today by the US government.
“If you think about how forests are being developed today, we’re seeing a massive shift in how the forests are managed,” said Dr Dan DeSantis, who led the research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“The forests of the past are being fragmented and lost to the ground and it is a loss to all of us.”
Dr DeSantsons team, led by Professor Daniel Schoeman, has spent the past three years studying how a revolution in technology could be the first step to reforesting the forests.
“If we can create a system that integrates new technology into a forest that was once very fragmented, that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said.
“It will be a big change.
But it is something that we think will really change how we manage the forests.”
The new system will require more forest management, with more workers involved in the management process, more data collected and more monitoring of the health of the forests, the report found.
But it also has some good news.
“A lot of the work that we do now in forestry is really about how do we manage and manage in a way that we can still maintain the integrity of our forests,” Professor DeSansons said.
In a world where many species of trees are being killed off and replaced by the bigger, more profitable and more durable timber, Dr DeSantons team is proposing a system in which the new system works better than the old one.
“What we have done is really look at how we can combine the technologies and the technologies we already have and make the forest system more sustainable,” he explained.
“So we’ve looked at using a system of technology that will work better than a technology that’s out there that we have to develop, which is really a very complex system.”
But the system that we’re working on today is really more suited to a forest management system where we’re looking at how do you manage your forests better and the forest management systems that we currently have to manage.
“The system they are working on is called the ‘forest-level ecosystem model’.
The idea is to understand how forests interact with the environment, the climate and the human condition, and then plan how to adapt to change.
The report found the current forest management methods do not work well in a world with climate change, habitat loss and biodiversity loss.”
We’re in the midst of a massive loss of forest, we have a lot more fires, we are seeing some of the biggest shifts in the landscape of our planet that we haven’t seen since the Dust Bowl in the 1930s,” Professor deSantis said.
So how do the researchers plan to manage a forest with this new system?”
We’re looking in the forest and not the tree, we think about the environment.”””
We want to look at the forest, not the trees.
We’re looking in the forest and not the tree, we think about the environment.””
We are proposing a new model, we want to put the system in place so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
We can really move to a world of less destruction and more health of our forest.”
The report recommends a three-phase process, in which forestry companies will work with local governments to establish the first phase of a plan for the forest to be reforested.
The plan will include a system for monitoring the health and the health status of the forest.
“You have to have the ability to make those decisions, because you need the data,” Dr Schoems said.
The second phase will involve the forestry companies creating an ecosystem that is resilient to changes in the climate.
The third phase will focus on developing a management system for the new forest that is adaptive to the changing environment.
Dr Schoemen said the report also outlines how the forest companies will collaborate with local people to develop and implement a management plan that meets the needs of the people living and working in the region.
“In a region like this, which has this large, diverse community, we’ve talked to communities, we talked to local people, we worked with them to establish what the forest needs to be able to withstand the changes that are coming, to be resilient,” he added.
“And we want people to have that input into what happens in the future, so the community can really shape what happens.”
Read more at Next Big Tomorrow.