Assessing fundamental forest characteristics is essential for many aspects of natural resources management. Field technicians “measuring” the forest provide data that are used to support land management decisions concerning not only timber resources, but also wildlife habitat, recreation, watershed processes and others. Further, field techniques used to collect forest data are used or modified to measure other natural resources.
Our forest measurements textbook is written for the field technician. Theory and silvicultural application are provided in a simple yet functional manner, as a context for the field work. For each topic, we strive to demonstrate the relevance of the data collected by answering questions such as, “Why do we measure this forest parameter?” and “How are these data used?” Secondly, we provide instruction on correct field techniques and instrumentation for the data collection. We tried to make the text as visual as possible, providing many illustrations and examples of analyzed data. Special “technique tips” for each skill are intended to help increase data collection accuracy and confidence. These include how to avoid common pitfalls, effective short cuts and essentials for recording field data correctly. The emphasis is on gathering “good” data to be used in forest assessments using elementary skills; it is not intended to be a timber cruising guide.
Special thanks go to MHCC Forest Resources graduates Adrianna Sutton, for her lovely illustrations; Kathy Olsen, who typed up the Glossary; and Tobias Witherspoon, who made me promise to put him in my book. His name and those of his classmates appear in the text. Thanks also to Ron Boldenow for his thoughtful review, and Amy Hofer, for her guidance. Special thanks to Lorna Notsch for editing so carefully and thoroughly.
This book is dedicated to my students, who teach me so much – about forestry and about life.
All photos by the author unless otherwise indicated.
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