Woodlot Management Guide for Alberta: Beneficial Management Practices

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A woodlot is a tract of land of any shape or size that supports naturally occurring or planted trees. Most woodlots in Alberta are family-owned and are often operated as part of an agricultural operation. These properties occupy 3.6 million hectares of forested land in Alberta’s agricultural zone, or 4% of the province’s forested land base. Individual woodlots vary in size from a few hectares to several hundred; the average lies between 20 and 40 hectares. The report “Profile of Private Forested Sector in Alberta” suggests 10 to 20% of Alberta’s timber supply is from privately owned land.

The value of woodlots is often measured by their ability to produce forest products, or to stimulate local or regional economies by creating or diversifying business activity and employment.

However, woodlots produce more than goods and services. Forests protect soil from wind and water erosion. They contribute to cleansing, filtering and stabilizing wetlands and water bodies, and provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife and plant species. Woodlots contribute to clean air and provide a place to commune with nature.

Objectives and use of this guide

This guide provides an introduction to basic woodlot management activities for landowners who are looking to increase their knowledge or experience with forestland management. It is intended to provide basic knowledge of woodlot beneficial best management practices so landowners can understand the resources on their woodlots, develop goals and objectives and create a management plan for their land. This guide is not intended to be a one-stop information source. Landowners may want additional assistance or advice from forestry practitioners including woodlot extension specialists, forestry consultants or local forest industry firms interested in working with private landowners.

Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) are listed at the end of each topic. The term “beneficial” rather than the more common term “best” is used to recognize that forest practices evolve as new information or techniques are developed. “Best” implies practices have reached a plateau and can no longer improve. The list of BMPs for each topic is intended as a summary and quick reference of practices considered beneficial based on current knowledge.

For further information, download Woodlot Management Guide for Alberta (Agdex 300/01-1) – 1,147K PDF.

Published by:
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Source: Agdex 300/01-1. 2015.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Toso Bozic.
This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on April 29, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 5, 2018.