"Disturbing" But Wholly Helpful

We can make and refresh habitat for wildlife by mimicking natural disturbances like wildfires, floods, and windstorms.

To create young forest and shrubland, partners in the Young Forest Initiative carefully use science-based techniques including prescribed burning, mulching older shrubs so they grow back vigorously and fruitfully, and replacing invasive shrubs with native ones that offer better food and cover. Timber harvests, properly sited and carried out, are another way to create young forest while yielding sustainable forest products, boosting local economies, and bringing landowners a financial return.

Federal and state agencies, conservation organizations, municipalities, timber products companies, and land trusts are making young forest and shrubland to help wildlife. Private landowners play an important role, too.

Consider keeping 5 percent of your woods in a young growth stage.