Tin Mountain Conservation Center is committed to educational initiatives and forest management on its landownership that promote ecological diversity, environmental stability, social responsiveness, long-term forest productivity, and economic viability. Overall goals for the forest and management practices are modeled after nature and the natural disturbance patterns that are responsible for the native forest systems found in the region. Therefore, Tin Mountain Conservation Center (TMCC) adheres to the following principles of forest stewardship:
1. Ecological sustainability and the long- term integrity of the forest ecosystem are the primary underpinnings for planning and management of TMCC forest lands.
TMCC understands that sustainable ecological systems are essential to economic and social prosperity. Responsible stewardship ensures ecological integrity of forests and meets long-term needs for timber, biodiversity, water quality, and recreation. Among the fundamental goals for TMCC lands are: 1) identifying, protecting, and monitoring exemplary natural communities and other rare and unusual natural features, 2) protecting the quality of all surface waters and associated wetlands and riparian areas, 3) providing high-quality representative native forest habitat for flora and fauna of the region, 4) maintaining the productivity of all soils, and 5) considering the manner in which TMCC forest management complements surrounding forest landscapes.
2. Planning forest management/practices on TMCC lands considers forest structure and function within the stand and at the landscape level and attempts to emulate natural forest dynamics.
Forest stewardship relies on management plans that incorporate sound scientific knowledge about forest systems into decisions applied across a range of scales in both space and time. Management activities employed on TMCC forest lands are designed to produce forest structure consistent with that naturally occurring in the region. Specific forest management objectives include: 1) employing silvicultural systems, e.g., single-tree selection methods, that reflect natural disturbance regimes and patterns across the landscape and that foster uneven-age forest conditions, 2) focusing silvicultural prescriptions and forest practices on that which is retained after harvest rather than that which is removed, including not only the residual trees but other structural components of the forest as well, 3) re-establishing and maintaining a natural range of forest age-classes including mature and late-succession stands, 4) conserving standing dead and down coarse woody material and other examples of “biological legacies” on harvested stands, 5) excluding certain areas from timber production to allow ecological processes to continue undisturbed for long periods of time, and 6) restoring ecological structure and function to degraded landscapes, stands, and sites.
3. Management plans are based upon annual harvest levels at or below a sustainable annual allowable cut (AAC) that provides a predictable revenue flow and ensures long-term ecological integrity of TMCC forest lands.
Management plans are written, implemented, and kept up to date for all TMCC properties describing the long-term objectives and means of achieving them. The AAC is established to meet forest planning objectives, rather than an objective itself. The AAC is based upon growth and regeneration information, the desired future condition of the forest, and protection of ecological and cultural features, and it is determined by soils, current growth levels, and forest type distribution. Resulting forest composition, structure, and yield are monitored regularly
4. Management of TMCC forest lands maintains important cultural values and traditional recreational uses.
In keeping with its environmental education mission, TMCC allows public access to its lands and encourages responsible traditional uses. In addition, TMCC seeks to identify and protect all important archaeological, historical and cultural sites. Maintaining and enhancing the long-term social and economic well being of the local community, forest-based businesses, residents, workers and visitors is an important goal of TMCC landownership. Consequently, public interests, values, and resources (such as water) are carefully considered when preparing management plans to conserve the forest-based values and opportunities for future generations.
5. Management of TMCC forest lands complies with all applicable federal and state laws, as well as local ordinances.