Logging Landscape

What kinds of forest management benefit wildlife?

Indigenous people, the first forest managers, burned understory to improve sightlines and to create habitat for game (hunted) species in their wooded hunting grounds. When European settlers arrived, New Hampshire was around 95% forested, and wildlife was abundant. Colonists cut forests for settlements, agriculture, and timber, and by the mid-1800s, the state was largely deforested. This deforestation, combined with unchecked hunting practices, led to the disappearance of wolves, cougars, turkeys and beavers. Populations of moose, deer, bobcat, and lynx declined dramatically.

Over 100 years later, wildlife populations have made a comeback as New Hampshire is presently over 80% forests – the second most forested state in the U.S. The landscape at Chandler Reservation reflects a modern approach to logging. Forest stewards cut selectively to create diverse habitat, opening areas for saplings to grow as browse for deer and moose while leaving behind some mature trees, dead snags and woody debris to provide cover, nesting sites and dens for wildlife.


Tom Wessels, Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England

New Hampshire’s Wild History: 350 Years of NH Wildlife
Speaking for Wildlife, UNH Cooperative Extension