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The Forests of the First State

More than 400 years after European explorers first discovered Delaware, one-third of the State remains forested. Delaware has a long and rich history of timber production that has seen many changes since its initial settlement. A formal forest management policy for Delaware evolved around the turn of the 20th century, culminating with the formation of the State Forestry Department in 1927, driven in large part by a need for wildfire management. Delaware has a unique geographical position, resulting in a unique mix of forest types. Because of its shape, orientation, and location, the State enjoys the benefits of the southernmost range of the eastern hardwood forest type and the northernmost range of the southern pine and hardwood type. Because of the timber type variation in Delaware, a few different management regimes are practiced, each with its own silviculture concerns and management activities. The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) offers financial and technical assistance programs for private landowners, including the regulation of forest activities such as timber harvests and reforestation. The DFS also maintains a robust and ongoing forest health monitoring and management program to deal with potential outbreaks from environmental and humancaused factors. With an eye to the future, the DFS has plans under way for a periodic review and assessment to measure statewide progress in meeting forest management goals and to chart a pathway to healthier and sustainable forests for the 21st century.

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Author(s): Samual L. Topper

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 57, Number 2 (2014)

Volume: 57

Number: 2