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This NebGuide explains how to identify possible forest management needs for a woodland in Nebraska and provides management options to maintain healthy trees and meet desired objectives.
Nebraska's forest lands comprise less than 2 percent of the total land base in the state (718,300 acres). However, on an acre by acre comparison, woodlands provide more associated benefits for society, the environment and our quality of life than most other land uses.
Trees provide soil protection from wind and water erosion. Woodlands help protect the quality of adjacent water resources by eliminating contaminates, shading for cooler water temperatures and contributing organic matter for use by aquatic life at all levels. Trees and shrubs also trap snow for spring moisture. Woodlands are necessary areas for many wildlife species at different times of the year and for some species year-round. These areas produce renewable wood resources while at the same time store carbon and produce oxygen. Finally, many of the most popular outdoor recreation activities are associated with trees and woodlands.
With the vast diversity of benefits that are obtained from Nebraska's woodlands compared to the limited acreage they occupy, it is important to properly manage those acres for sustained health and continued benefits.