Mississippi Society of American Foresters

MS SAF Position Statement on Multiple-Use Management of Forestlands

Position:

The Mississippi Society of American Foresters strongly encourages the multiple use concept of forestland management. Multiple use management seeks to manage land to provide for a variety of forest benefits over time, e.g. water, wildlife, timber, and recreation.

On privately owned lands, the landowner’s objectives take priority within societal bounds and management is directed toward accomplishing those objectives. On public lands, the management objectives should be to provide the greatest benefit for the public.

In applying the multiple use concept, primary and secondary uses emerge on specific portions of forestland. The scientific expertise of forestry professionals is an essential input in the evaluation and prioritization of these forest uses.

Background:

Forests occupy 19.8 million acres in Mississippi. As the state’s population grows, demands on forestlands for goods and services are increasing. Conflicts over forestland uses have begun to surface in Mississippi in recent years. Examples include the former conflict over the management of the former University of Mississippi forestlands in southeast Mississippi and objections to timber harvesting on National Forest properties by preservation interests.

An exclusive land use is one for which an area is reserved and managed for one purpose, with other managed uses excluded. The more acres are designated for exclusive uses, the fewer acres may be available for the multiple benefits that forests provide.

The multiple use philosophy of land management is to provide the largest sum of social, economic and other important benefits to the greatest number of citizens. The multiple use principle of forest management helps assure that the supply of forestlands for recreation, timber, watershed, wildlife habitat and the other benefits will be available to forest owners and citizens at large.

Originally adopted by Mississippi Society of American Foresters (MS SAF) on May 16, 2002 and revised on August 24, 2007. This statement will expire December 31, 2017, unless revised by the MS SAF.