Forest farming is neither forestry nor farming in the traditional sense. It is an agroforestry practice
characterized by Intentional, Integrated, Intensive and Interactive management of an existing forested ecosystem wherein forest
health is of paramount concern.
Forest farm management principles constitute an ecological approach to forest management through efforts
to find a balance between conservation of native biodiversity and wildlife habitat within the forest and limited, judicious
utilization of the forest's varied resources. It manifests itself in many forms depending upon the particular piece of land
and upon the goals of the human involved.
In the Pacific Northwest, it often attempts to bring secondary growth forests that have been overused
and whose ecosystems have become so fragmented that their natural processes are out of equilibrium, back into ecological balance
through careful, intentional manipulation over time, emulating natural processes to restore original, natural diversity of
species. In some instances, the intentional introduction of species for use as nursery stock, botanicals, medicinals or food
products is added in combination with native species.
In secondary forests, methods include Intensive, yet cautious thinning of overstocked, suppressed tree
stands such that no individual species is decimated and such that the crown cover is never depleted leaving the forest floor
exposed to excessive sun, wind, rain and erosion; multiple Integrated entries to accomplish thinnings so that the systemic
shock is not so great and Interactive management to achieve an Intentional result- a cross-section of healthy trees and shrubs
of all ages and species, rather than a monoculture of timber species.
Forest farm management is a type of forest stewardship ethic whose philosophy is that the term "sustainable" means what
is sustainable by the earth without causing irreparable harm, not what is sustainable in terms of man's demand. Man will always
demand more and must be responsible for his effect upon the earth as he fulfills that demand.
The objective of Forest farming is to restore and maintain the health of the forest land so that its capacity for self
renewal may continue in perpetuity throughout its many and varied ecosystems.