Go to the Forest Management Program’s Frequently Asked Questions
* Regulations for the sale of forest products on Fort Drum.
* Invasive Pest Alert: Emerald Ash Borer.
* Invasive Pest Alert: Asian Longhorn Beetle.
Forest Management Program
The primary purpose of the Fort Drum Forest Management Program is to manage the installation’s forested lands to support the Army training mission and to enhance ecosystem integrity through sound forest management practices. Additional objectives include the annual production of commercial forest products, enhancement of forested habitats to benefit wildlife, protection of watersheds, and increased opportunities for outdoor recreation. Forest management on Fort Drum is concerned with maintaining and enhancing the diversity of the forested ecosystem. This diversity allows the trainers access to different types of land formations and vegetative structures in order to provide optimal conditions for all training scenarios.
The Forest Management Program supports the military training mission by creating open maneuver areas and bivouac sites for the soldiers to train in. These areas are most often thinned based on tree spacing requirements in order to provide overhead concealment while still maintaining high levels maneuverability. In contrast, the management strategies of other forested stands are focused on the silvicultural needs of the ecosystem. This is more prominent in the north and northeastern sections of the installation where terrain limits certain types of training activities. These areas are managed through uneven aged silviculture to provide continual growth and harvest of timber products, as well as multi level forest canopies to benefit various wildlife species.
Whether for training or silviculture, the Forestry Program can sustainably harvest up 1600 acres per year of the approx 74,000 acres of forested land on this installation.
Protecting essential wildlife habitat is also a major concern of the Forest Management Program. Habitat loss and species decline has prompted many federal regulations and guidelines that help maintain and protect essential wildlife habitat. These guidelines help not only to limit the disturbance caused by harvesting actions, but also enhance habitats. Watershed guidelines and regulations are also taken into consideration whenever a harvesting action is proposed. This is done to protect and enhance Fort Drum’s vast network of wetlands and water bodies. The Forest Management Program follows New York State Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for harvesting timber.
The Forestry Program also reaches out to the local community by offering educational opportunities through the various public outreach events. Most recently we started promoting Fort Drum Maple Days, in which we try to increase the awareness of sugar bush management and maple syrup production. There is an annual Arbor Day tree planting each spring aimed at educating the Fort Drum community, particularly children, on how important trees are to our communities. In addition, there are opportunities for college classes to visit the installation. These tours are focused on providing a better understanding of the complexities of forest management on an active military installation.
The firewood program helps our soldiers and their families as well as the local communities by giving them the opportunity to harvest firewood at a low cost of $10.00 per full cord. This also benefits the training mission by cleaning up the debris in the training areas as well as the cantonment area. Refer to the “frequently asked questions” section for specifics on this program.