Canadian Forest Service Publications

Is Intensive Forest Management a misnomer? An Ontario-based discussion of terminology and an alternative approach. 2006. Bell, F.W.; Pitt, D.G.; Wester, M.C. The Forestry Chronicle 82: 662-674.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26825

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


The term forest management refers to the science and business of operating a forest property, which, on Crown lands in Ontario, is typically a forest management unit. Silviculture is a component of forest management that refers to the suite of stand-level activities used to control stand composition and growth. Intensive forest management (IFM) is a concept that has been discussed and considered in Ontario for at least 30 years. Originally, it referred to an intensively managed forest in which most stands are subject to relatively intensive silvicultural practices. Over time, both professional foresters and stakeholders began using the term IFM as if it were synonymous with intensive silviculture.As a result, IFM has been inappropriately used to reference stand-level activities in several published definitions and key policy documents, creating confusion among the science community, professionals, and the public. This confusion has made it difficult to implement aspects of the 1999 Ontario Forest Accord,which calls for the use of IFM (meaning intensive silviculture) to increase forest growth and productivity in some areas to offset the withdrawal of lands for parks and protected areas.We call on forest managers to refer to the term IFM correctly and to portray forest management to stakeholders as consisting of a portfolio of natural and/or anthropogenic disturbance regimes.With this approach, forest managers could more meaningfully define the intensity of forest management and silviculture on their landbase.