Sustainability from the Ground Up
Managing the soils on our timberlands is a key part of enhancing both productivity and long-term sustainability. Soil management can have a significant effect on water quality. That's why we follow each state's site-specific best practices for managing soils, and whenever possible, we exceed those standards. In Arkansas, for example, we map the various types of soils on our lands and make that information available to foresters so that they can take appropriate soil-conservation measures and apply the most appropriate silvicultural prescriptions.
Losing soil to erosion is a serious concern to anyone who grows crops. As part of our forestry practices, we take measures that help minimize erosion. We design roads to encourage proper water drainage. We protect skid trails and manage streamside buffer zones that slow and filter runoff. We also re-vegetate our road construction sites as soon as possible to prevent soil loss.
The heavy machinery used for logging can compact the finer textured soils at some harvest sites. Compacted soils can impede root growth and affect both forest health and productivity. We prescribe treatments to minimize the negative effects of equipment on soil structure to ensure that the roots of planted seedlings will grow rapidly.
We implement practices that minimize depletion of nutrients that trees and other vegetation need to thrive. We specify harvest and site preparation practices that maintain organic matter, such as leaving a significant amount of limbs and woody debris behind after logging. By maintaining the forest floor and keeping logging slash on harvest sites, nutrients are kept on site to sustain long-term productivity.