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Forest Management Guidelines

Forest management guidelines (often called Best Management Practices - BMPs) have been developed by various organizations to inform and aid forest management. These are typically site focused guidelines for a forest owner, forest resources professional, or logger, which describe how to operate (operational practices) in your forest to ensure sustainability and minimization of impacts.

The focus is typically on the forest and associated sensitive areas and their importance for wildlife and fisheries, water quality, and aesthetics. Also, general issues such as biodiversity are addressed here. In the Upper Great Lakes Region, most guidelines are voluntary in nature. They describe practices which minimize or mitigate against environmental impacts, as well as point out common practices which should be avoided.

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Illinois - Best Management Practices for Illinois (PDF, 12.1M)


Michigan - Water Quality Management on Forest Land (PDF, 2.21M)


Minnesota - Sustaining Minnesota Forest Resources: Voluntary, Site-Level Forest Management Guidelines for Landowners, Loggers and Resource Managers (PDF, 18M) These guidelines can also be viewed and downloaded by section.

Introduction and Purpose of Guidelines (PDF, 1.1M)

Selected Components of a Sustainable Forest: Rationale and Management Considerations

Cultural Resources (PDF, 931K)
Forest Soil Productivity (PDF, 420K)
Riparian Areas (PDF, 385K)
Visual Quality (PDF, 1.6M)
Water Quality and Wetlands (PDF, 320K)
Wildlife Habitat (PDF, 2.4M)

General Guidelines (PDF, 3.9M)

Forest Roads (PDF, 1.5M)

Timber Harvesting (PDF, 3.3M)

Mechanical Site Preparation (PDF, 631K)

Pesticide Use (PDF, 247K)

Reforestation (PDF, 940K)

Timber Stand Improvement (PDF, 328K)

Fire Management (PDF, 404K)

Forest Recreation Management (PDF, 1M)

Resource Directory (PDF, 63K)

Glossary (PDF, 55K)

Appendices (PDF, 111K)


Wisconsin - Wisconsin Forest Management Guidelines (PDF, 12.3M)
Below you will find a table of contents for the Wisconsin Forest Management Guidelines (Pub-FR-226 2003). Under each chapter is a list of the topics covered in that chapter. Click on the chapter title to view the chapter in PDF format.

Foreword (PDF, 498K)

Chapter 1 - Wisconsin's Forests: A Quick Overview (PDF, 674K)

Chapter 2 - Generally Accepted Silvicultural Principles (PDF, 1270K)

Resources for Additional Information

Chapter 3 - Wildlife Habitat (PDF, 664K)

Chapter 4 - Visual Quality (PDF, 479K)

CHAPTER 5 - Riparian Areas and Wetlands (PDF, 535K)

Chapter 6 - Cultural Resources (PDF, 436K)

Chapter 7 - Forest Soil Productivity (PDF, 508K)

Chapter 8 - Economics (PDF, 590K)

Chapter 9 - Forest Management Planning (PDF, 339K)

Chapter 10 - General Operational Guidelines (PDF, 397K)

Chapter 11 - Forest Road Construction and Maintenance (PDF, 810K)

Chapter 12 - Timber Harvesting (PDF, 902K)

Post-Operational Activities

Chapter 13 - Mechanical Site Preparation (PDF, 431K)

Chapter 14 - Pesticide Use (PDF, 173K)

Chapter 15 - Reforestation (PDF, 532K)

Chapter 16 - Intermediate Silvicultural Treatments (PDF, 780K)

Chapter 17 - Fire Management (PDF, 532K)

Chapter 18 - Forest Recreation Management (PDF, 278K)

Glossary (PDF, 347K)

Appendices (PDF, 317K)

Resource Directory (PDF, 210K)

Credits and Acknowledgements (PDF, 203K)


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North Central Region Forest Management Guide: A cooperative project of the USDA Forest Service and University of Minnesota.
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
Last Modified:  05/25/2006