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Structure-based Management
The look and feel of a forest can be more important than age when it comes to defining habitat. This “look and feel” or a what-you-see approach refers to structure.
Structure is trees, both small and large, standing dead trees (snags), down wood (decaying logs) and other vegetation such as shrubs. All these components are important to wildlife.
Structure-based management uses harvesting techniques – thinnings and well-planned clearcuts – to help forests more quickly evolve into older stages. This type of active management accelerates the natural maturing process of a forest.
Five stages of a forests development are identified for northwest and southwest state forests. In the draft plan for the Elliott State Forests, there are three stages  (two of the stages are combined).
Structural characteristics of trees and other vegetation are important factors that influence whether or not a stand is used by a variety of wildlife species. Various stages of structural development are necessary to provide a wide range of wildlife habitats.
Go to forest management plans for a full discussion of structure-based management.

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