Using Timber and Forestry to Help Sustain Our Lives Locally

This year, May the 5th 2013, is the celebration of International Permaculture Day. In keeping with the theme of this important event, we need to be aware of the importance of producing and using “local”, especially with regard to forestry and use of timber.

Local sustainable forestry management and the use of timber to build shelters and fences, etc., and the use of its by-products, benefits the whole community.

The benefits for us include learning new skill sets:

  • Sustainable forest management teaches us how to be with nature, to read and understand her, working with nature not against her, regenerating new forests using species that have been cut out over time, leaving a more healthy forest for the next generation, understanding the product in tree form, providing habitat trees and feed trees as well as clean water, learning how to increase biological diversity and learning differences between the species, understanding how the forest grows, discovering new hidden fern and orchid covered rocks and watercourses. Water and mineral cycles will hence be maximised and energy flow optimised for all life forms. All this is available to us, locally. The benefits for the local community are huge, ranging from health and education to recreation and economic returns.
  • New skill sets required for the harvesting and milling of timber include, reading trees and logs, correct techniques of felling and snigging to reduce damage to young trees, knowing the legalities of harvesting and milling, increasing log recovery percentage, choosing the right species for the job, knowing how to mill the correct specifications out of a log to suit the requirements of the job, learning how to construct shelters, knowing the different techniques of drying and marketing sawn timber, experiencing the satisfaction of sustainable living and building with quality timbers.

Passing these skill sets down to the younger generations, reducing transport costs and footprint, creating local employment, self sufficiency and reliability are all benefits rewarding the local community.

To quote Allan Savory in his book Holistic Management:

In the long term, the well-being of any family, business, or community depends on the stability and productivity of the land surrounding them. When I say “land” I am referring to it in the broadest sense meaning soils, plants, forests, birds, insects, wildlife, lakes, streams, and ultimately, the oceans as well.

To gain knowledge and skills, why not take a short course?:


  1. Nice to see people are finally realising that forestry is sustainable and its better to manage what we have locally than drive forestry off shore to areas which don’t support sustainable managment overseas

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