|Restricting human harvesting of forests to the annual increment or growth
is a noble goal but sustained yield rearranges forests in an illusory attempt to sustain
Sustained yield (SY) forestry planning fragments forest ecosystems and
radically changes age classes and species composition. SY was an evolution from
unregulated, wasteful timber mining, but timber sustainability is the goal not ecological
Unfortunately, SY remains the basis for a professional forestry education globally even
though this land rent forest planning is more closely related to stock shelving in a
supermarket then to ecology.
Legislated regulatory frameworks mandating sustained yield continue to frustrate change
to an ecologically sustainable forestry in U.S. Federal forests, in each Canadian
province, in Australia, in most European countries and in much of the developing world.
A detailed criticism of the history, methodology and legacy of this pathogen - so that
SY rearranging of forests for timber sustainability is no longer exceptable - is the first
and most necessary step to a sustainable forestry.
An Example of Sustained Yield Planning
EM (ecosystem management) technology will
probably emerge as more important to people than either the technology of the
communications revolution or biotechnology because of its potential usefulness in
guaranteeing a livable environment. . . .
The major change in forestry thinking wrought by
EM has been the abandonment of the concept of a stable flow of wood from the land as a
universally dominant management objective.
John Gordon, Yale University