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Stone Age Principles for Modern Forest Management

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Forestland managers must deal with the complexity of balancing environmental sustainability with the economic demand for wood and alternate forestland uses. Decisions are not always easy, and looking to human history might provide a framework for dealing with modern forestland management issues. The Stone Age was a period when basic engineering skills were developed, animals were domesticated, and humans began establishing permanent settlements around agricultural crops. It was also a time when great stone structures like Stonehenge were built. By going back to the Stone Age, the roots of modern civilization, we might find some basic underlying principles that guided our ancestors, and they might be useful for modern management. I have called these five basic principles the Stone Age principles: (1) observe and learn from nature, (2) use the resources you have, (3) leverage skills and knowledge, (4) use teamwork, and (5) commit to the task.

Keywords: forest management; forestland; stone age principles; timber harvest

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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