The plantings are in areas open to the public for recreation and create excellent, long-term animal habitat. All of the trees are
managed under comprehensive management plans.
The idea is to plant trees and let them
mature for 60 to 100 years. Then at some
point in each tree’s maturity, it will be harvested and used within the American hardwood industry. Typically, HFF chooses areas
where nature needs a little help—areas
that suffered from natural disasters, reclamation land, or acreage that was cleared
due to pests or disease. “We fund operations that help plant trees on reclamation
land, and there’s a lot of reclamation land in
Appalachia,” Windt says.
HFF’s network of foresters plants
high-quality trees like the American
Walnut, Black Cherry, and White and Red
Oak, he says.
“We’re planting thousands of acres of
commercial-quality wood that A.R.E.
members are using every day,” he says.
“We differ from other tree-planting organi-
zations because a lot of them are not plant-
ing high-quality hardwoods. They usually
plant pine, and you don’t always know
where they are planting them. We typically
plant in the Northeast, Upper Midwest,
Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions.”
HFF projects must have sustainable for-
est management plans written and over-
seen by natural resource professionals.
Each management plan is tailored to cur-
rent site conditions and considers wildlife,
water quality, and environmental conser-
vation goals. The projects also help teach
students and private landowners how to be
good stewards of hardwood forests.
William J. McShea (left), research ecologist for the Conservation Ecology Center, and Thomas Akre,
Ph.D, of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute discuss plans for land once used by the
U. S. Army to train horses for war. Now managed by the Smithsonian Institute, the 20-acre plot will
soon be home to 16 hardwood species, thanks in part to HFF.