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Walton Park, NY, United States

VanBrakle J.D.,Watershed Agricultural Council
Journal of Forestry | Year: 2011

At the June joint meeting of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters' (NAASF) Cooperative Forest Management and Forest Utilization committees, I attended a presentation on the recently released "Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study." Produced by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences (2010) for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the study was commissioned after intense public pressure in that state over the sustainability and carbon neutrality of using woody biomass for energy. The presenter said the study had turned his views on biomass "on their head," but as I listened to his presentation and later read the report, I sensed that, while a landmark study for biomass, the Manomet report actually shouldn't contain that many surprises. If anything, the study's conclusions give a green light to biomass projects, just not the ones that traditionally get attention. © 2011 by the Society of American Foresters.

VanBrakle J.D.,Watershed Agricultural Council | Germain R.H.,New York University | Munsell J.F.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Stehman S.V.,New York University
Journal of Forestry | Year: 2013

Financial incentive programs for forest management plans on private forestland are common in the United States. Few studies, however, have examined the relationship between management plans and "on-the-ground" forest management practices. We used the New York City Watershed as a case study to evaluate the impact of management plans on best management practices (BMP) implementation. We conducted field surveys during 2009 and 2011 and evaluated properties for implementation by comparing postharvest conditions with New York BMP guidelines. We also compared the data with previously published results from 2002. Evaluation scores for properties with plans were significantly better in only two of six BMP categories: skid trails and forest roads. Although not invalidating forest management plans, this case study suggests a need for further evaluation of planning initiatives and a potential shift in funding away from management plans to programs such as logger training and timber sale contract education. © 2013 Society of American Foresters.

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