Traditional forest management utilizes two methods; slash and burn and thinning.
The objective is to remove a buildup of volatile fuels. If left unmanaged, nature will take care of the situation through massive forest fires. This results in the total loss of prime forest lands and a significant increase in greenhouse gases. A recent example of this is the fires that burned 321,833 hectares of forest in Yellowstone in 1988.
The benefits of forest management can be seen in the two simulations below:
|Unmanaged Forest, Wildfire in 2035||Managed Forest, Wildfire in 2035|
The US Forest Sevice burned over 100 million tons of forest fuels in 2008 as part of their forest management plan. Currently burning is the best tradeoff since wildfires would produce vastly more greenhouse gasses than treatment burns.Biochar Benefits in Forest Management
Clearly, this is a win-win-win solution!