New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) has long been dedicated to promoting the sound and sustainable management of our region’s private forestlands, and today holds more than 150 forests that total more than 38,000 acres and serve as demonstrate sites for Exemplary Forest management for wood, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and education.
Our woodlands are certified to Forest Stewardship Council™ standards and are also certified by the American Tree Farm System®. By passing these environmental audits, NEFF meets the principles and criteria that describe how the forest is managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, and cultural needs of present and future generations. We invite you to learn more about our dedication to sound forest stewardship.
What Is Forest Management?
Through forest management, a person or organization takes a thoughtful, considered approach to the long-term stewardship of a forest’s natural resources to meet specific goals. Goals can vary widely depending on the management project, and may include wood production, improving wildlife habitat, and protecting the forest’s interconnected waterways.
Forest management and forestry are conducted by licensed foresters, and are umbrella terms that encompass many different ways of treating a forest.
Forestry in the Founding
In the 1930s and 40s, an eclectic group of foresters and outdoor enthusiasts grew concerned about destructive overharvesting on private New England forestlands. In response, they formed the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) in 1944 and devoted it to the practice, teaching and promotion of sustainable forestry that accounted for the many ways forests benefit the world—like by cleaning water as it runs toward rivers and streams—rather than just wood production alone.
Over time, the science-based sustainable forestry NEFF chose to not only practice on its own lands but also test and improve upon became Exemplary Forestry, a carbon-storing powerhouse that prioritizes forests’ long-term health. Exemplary Forestry is designed to work in balance with unharvested wildlands that serve as ecological reserves.
Forestry and Climate Change
Growing and harvesting trees in the right way and in the right places to produce the wood societies need is better for the climate than harvesting no trees at all, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made clear: “A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fiber or energy from the forest will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”*
The wood products we all use have to come from somewhere. If the United States reduced the amount of wood it produced, any progress we claimed to make in reducing global atmospheric CO2 levels by storing carbon in our unharvested trees would in practice be eclipsed by emissions from other forestry markets. And here in New England, NEFF has a plan for wide-scale implementation of Exemplary Forestry that would simultaneously produce sustainably grown wood—some of which can be used to make products that substitute for carbon-intensive building materials like steel and concrete—and increase the amount of carbon stored in forests.
*Quote taken from “Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.” Access the report at www.ipcc.ch/srccl