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Mississippi Society of American Foresters


MS SAF Position Statement on Clearcutting


It is the position of the Mississippi Society of American Foresters that the use of clearcutting, when implemented in a manner consistent with Mississippi’s Best Management Practices (BMP’s), is an ecologically and economically sound harvest method for establishing an even-aged forest. Furthermore, the MS SAF believes that clearcutting is a necessary and effective tool by which specific forest management objectives can be successfully achieved to benefit the forest owner, certain wildlife species (i.e., game and non-game) and the needs of society.


Clearcutting is a silvicultural method of harvest prescription that removes all trees in a stand for the purpose of establishing a new forest. It is used in all regions of the country for a variety of biological and economic reasons. Due to the visual characteristics of a successful clearcut, some view this practice as being objectionable and damaging to the environment. However, clearcutting is one of several scientifically proven methods of harvesting employed to achieve specific landowner and forest management objectives. It is useful to generate income, enhance certain wildlife habitat and re-establish certain species of trees.

Clearcutting is used to establish stands of trees, either artificially or naturally, of the same age. Primary factors used to determine the selection of clearcutting over other harvest methods are the biological regeneration requirements of desired tree species, soil stability, water quality, land management objectives and economic considerations.

Originally adopted by Mississippi Society of American Foresters (MS SAF) on October 18, 2000 and revised on August 24, 2007. This statement will expire December 31, 2017, unless revised by the MS SAF.