This book is the result of over 35 years of working in academic and research organizations in which foresters, biologists, and individuals from other disciplines collaborated, fought, argued, and occasionally agreed about how forests should be managed. That 35-year period spanned a time that began as a shift from a game-management focus to nongame species management to biodiversity conservation to provision of ecological services. On public lands especially, forestry evolved from commodity-focused even-aged management to green tree retention to ecological forestry. On private forest lands, green certification emerged as a nongovernmental licensing program that recognized commodity production and biodiversity conservation. Some scientists and managers involved in disciplines of wildlife management, forestry, sociology, biology, entomology, zoology, and botany as separate disciplines merged into a common framework for conservation of biodiversity that became known as conservation biology. In the 1980s and 1990s, ecological preservation often became pitted against economic growth. Passion for sustaining traditional ways of life faced passion for sustaining biodiversity. Arguments were intense, but people changed. Eventually, neither philosophy emerged dominant, but rather realization grew that stable economies, viewing humans as part of ecosystems, and sustainability of ecological services were becoming more representative of societal values. Resource professionals, at times reluctantly, also began approaching natural resource management problems in this interdisciplinary light. My own philosophy changed during that time as well. I always felt that the common ground between wildlife biologists and foresters was greater than the chasm of differences, and I tried to represent one of many bridges between the disciplines in my classes, my research, and my interactions with other professionals.
Writing this book stemmed from both a practical need and an emotional desire. Practically, I wanted to be able to use a book in my forestry and wildlife habitat management classes, and hopefully others would use it in theirs. There are excellent texts available, but I had long felt that I could make a contribution by integrating silvicultural and forest-planning principles with principles of habitat ecology and conservation biology. In addition, I wanted a forum where representatives of both disciplines could read my views and use them as a jumping off point for continued discussions, debates, arguments, and perhaps even agreement. The emotional motivations for writing this book came from my two children. Although neither shows an obvious inclination for pursuing a career in natural resources, both exhibit a strong appreciation for nature. I would like to feel that I have done everything I can do to leave them a living inheritance as rich in the diversity of life as the world that I lived in, and ensure that the foundation is laid for their generation to do the same for those who follow.
Many people contributed to the materials in this book. People whom I considered mentors and who shaped my thinking tremendously at various points in my career are Drs. Malcolm Coulter, Mitch Ferrell, Bob McDowell, Bob Noble, Bart Thielges, Logan Norris, John Gordon, Susan Stafford, Anita Azarenko, and Sabah Randhawa. In particular, I would like to thank reviewers of various chapters. Several teaching assistants for my courses read and commented on early drafts of all chapters and to them I am deeply in debt: Misty Cannon, Jesse Caputo, Stephanie Hart, Lori Keyes, and Holly Ober. Reviewers of individual chapters made excellent suggestions and include Matt Betts, Sal Chinnici, Sally Duncan, Cheryl Freisen, Joan Hagar, Sue Koger, Bob Lackey, Josh Lawler, Karl Martin, Bob Mitchell, Randy Rosenberger, Tom Spies, Nobuya Suzuki, John Tappeiner, Denis White, and Ben Zuckerberg. Hundreds of students in my WFCON 564 and FS/FW 453 classes used the first edition of this book and many provided comments and feedback that I used as a basis for improvements. Students in FS/FW 553 reviewed this second edition of the book. JoAnn Smith, silviculturist on the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, generously provided stand exam data, which were used as the basis for an illustration of achieving a desired future condition.
Photos were generously provided by Susan Campbell, Joan Hagar, Mike Jones, Karl Martin, Bruce McCune, Kevin McGarigal, Jim Petranka, Dave Vesely, Dianna Fisher, Jim Rivers, Katie Williams, and Michele Woodford as well as federal agencies, including U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Numerous publishers and journals generously allowed me to use previously published figures and text and they are cited herein.
I thank the provost of Oregon State University (OSU), Dr. Sabah Randhawa for providing me with the freedom to tackle a second edition of this book while working as the dean of the Graduate School. The University of Massachusetts Amherst provided me with a sabbatical leave to focus on finishing the first edition of this book. Randy Brehm from Taylor & Francis publishers provided outstanding support throughout the process of writing this second edition.
Finally, I thank my family and the friends, especially my partner Dianna Fisher, who have supported me throughout this project, all my many other projects, and the various trials and tribulations of life that have led me to this place and time in my life.