Ecological Forestry Definitions

The challenge of defining "ecological forestry" has attracted thoughtful foresters as long as the profession has existed. In fact, each forester probably has her or his own definition. Our goal is not to dictate dogma but to highlight where Guild members are in agreement.

The following are some discussions and definitions of ecological forestry by Forest Stewards Guild members:

Tenets of Forestry

A previous effort within the Guild focused on identifying the Tenets of Forestry. The Tenets are elaborated principles that occupy the zone between the briefly and succinctly stated Guild principles and ecological forestry practices. As the Tenets of Forestry is still very much a work in progress, below are some thoughts from Guild foresters that may spark further discussion:

Conceptual Framework for the Practice of Forestry

The Forest Stewards Guild's Tenets of Forestry project also looked at the fundamentals of decision making in the forest and generated a list of topics to consider to addressing the three dimensions of ecological forestry: ecological, economic and social sustainability.

  • Ecological Considerations
    • Soil
    • Water
    • Vegetation
    • Wildlife
    • Ecosystem dynamics: disturbance and succession
    • Forest health: practical definitions and holistic perspectives on health, diversity and productivity
    • Restoration
  • Economic Considerations
    • Increasing net worth, ecological integrity, and legacy for future generations.
    • Valuation of ecosystem services
  • Social Considerations
    • Landowners
    • Industry
    • Society

Any Guild members interested in contributing to this incarnation of the Tenets of Forestry please email