Conserve Ontario's Carolinian Forests: preserve songbird species at risk, chapter 8

Summary of Management Guidelines for Maintenance of Forest Bird Diversity

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has produced a comprehensive guidance document for land managers entitled “A Land Manager’s Guide to Conserving Habitat for Forest Birds in Southern Ontario” (2011). This document outlines ten ways to be a careful land manager to maintain and enhance woodland habitat for biodiversity and other ecosystem values and functions:

  1. Get professional forest management advice.
  2. Use an appropriate, recognized silvicultural system (move beyond diameter-limits, consider group selection).
  3. Use a written prescription for harvesting (i.e., use a written document that describes the objectives, measures, conditions to be met, and other specific operational strategies to be implemented when harvesting a forest stand in a particular area).
  4. Retain large and extra-large trees (some of which will be low economic quality/value).
  5. Maintain or manage for high levels of structural diversity.
  6. Consider leaving uncut areas.
  7. Retain old growth and wildlife features:
    • living cavity trees, mast trees, snags (the bigger the better);
    • maintain or improve native tree species diversity;
    • protect existing downed wood and add where possible;
    • retain stick nests where they exist;
    • preserve the integrity of wet areas (ephemeral ponds, seeps, streams, etc.);
    • retain and protect the habitat of species at risk.
  8. Demand careful, high-quality logging without damage.
  9. Calculate economic benefits over the long term.
  10. Enjoy your woodlot!

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