Is a forest merely a collection of trees? The dictionary defines forests as a large area covered chiefly with trees and undergrowth. But at least in the case of working forests, there is much more than what a cursory glance or dictionary definition can convey.
To help illustrate the complexities and thoughtful planning that is required of a working forest, the Washington Forest Protection Association has created an interactive mural that shows the strategies in play as foresters strive to maintain a sustainably-managed working forest. The beautifully illustrated mural, which shows a forested area from a forester’s perspective, underscores the balance between working forests, forestry practices and producing the benefits our society desires.
The interactive mural provides that omnipotent view and understanding of the numerous benefits working forests provide. At ground level, it is impossible for most people to see everything happening across millions of acres of working forest land. If, however, you could stand atop a high mountain and look down across the forested landscape and out to the communities and watersheds a working forest serves, it becomes easier to comprehend what must be considered when managing a modern, sustainable working forest.
The map helps us better understand that active forest management is more than promoting healthy, resilient forests. It also illustrates that our economy, environmental health and way of life rely on responsibly managed forested lands. Working forests provide recreation space, wildlife habitat, promote water and air quality, forestry products and much more. In the end, foresters balance the needs to conserve, modernize, enhance, protect, provide and sustain the forested areas to provide optimum economic, environmental and long-range benefits for the working forest, and in turn, for communities.
Rolling over pins that highlight modern forestry practices on the mural, you can learn a professional forester’s approach to managing working forests. Each point on the mural opens a pop-up with detailed information on a specific objective assigned for each management unit. Click on the link and spend some time exploring this fun, informative mural to learn more about how a working operates.