Talk About Trees Home> Lessons and Activities> Additional Curriculum> Land Use Scenario
"Educating children about the responsible management and use of California's most renewable resource"

Land Use Scenario

Author: Glenda Bird

Write on the board:

  • WIDERNESS
  • PARK
  • MULTIPLE USE
  • TREE FARM
  • RESERVE
  • CONSERVE

Draw Map on board:

WILDERNESS: Ask the class what is a wilderness? Ask the class if anyone can name a wilderness area. Have any of them visited a wilderness and what did they do there? What activities can be done in a wilderness? Can they take their motor home and drive into the wilderness to go camping? No. Can a disabled person in a wheelchair go into the wilderness? No. If there is a fire in the wilderness, can fire fighters use a chain saw to fight the fire? No. Can helicopters and air tankers be used to fight the fire? No. Can you hunt and fish in a wilderness? Yes. Can you harvest timber or cut a Christmas tree in a Wilderness? No.
FYI: The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." There are 95 million acres designated as wilderness areas.

In a wilderness area no forest management, logging, grazing, or mining is allowed. There can be no roads, automobiles, RVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorboats, bicycles, or other forms of mechanical transport (including wheelchairs), cabins, lodges, permanent campgrounds, bathrooms, or other structures or installations.

One-third of U.S. forest land, 244 million acres, is permanently set aside in national parks, wilderness and other areas never to managed fore natural resource production. This area is bigger than Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, and Ireland combined.

Wilderness areas are desirable for aesthetic, social and ecological reasons, but setting aside more wilderness reduces the amount of land available for multiple use and lessen the public's access to recreation, wood and other resources.

Chainsaws cannot be used for any reason including fighting fires in a wilderness. Air tankers cannot be used to fight fires in a wilderness. (There may be circumstances where special dispensation is obtained)

Hunting (with guns, bow and arrows, ect.) and fishing are allowed in a wilderness, however, it must be done on foot or with animal such as mule or horse.

It is absolutely forbidden to remove anything including pinecones, pretty rocks, flowers, ect., from a wilderness. It has been said that the only thing you may take out of a wilderness is a picture. However, you must take out anything you took in, such as garbage.

PARK: What is the purpose of a National or State Park? Have any of you visited a National or State Park? Can you name a National or State Park? What can you don in a Park? Can you hunt and fish in a Park? No. Do they have the same restriction regarding fighting fires as in a wilderness. Yes. After a fire, can anything be done by man to help birng back the trees? No. It must come back naturally. Are there buildings and improvements such as roads and campgrounds in a Park? Yes. Can you remove anything from a Park such as a pinecone? No. The same rules apply as in a Wilderness. Can you harvest timber or cut a Christmas tree in a park? No.

FYI: National Parks (80 million acres) were established to preserve natural features, exceptional beauty an areas of historical interest. They include battlefields, lakeshores, memorials, monuments, preserves, recreation areas, scenic trails, and wild and scenic rivers. They do not allow any timber harvesting or hunting.

Monuments: Lately we have been hearing about the President designing monuments.
Monuments are essentially under the same guidelines as a Park.

Both Wilderness and Parks (Monuments) are PRESERVES. A preserve is exactly as defined; meant to save guidelines as a Park.

The United states has 13.2 million acres of old-growth trees (trees 200 or more years old). And over half, 8 million acres, is protected within national parks, wildernesses, and other administrative set asides. If you put these trees together, they would form a band two miles wide stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Those trees can never be cut. Most of the older trees, like the redwoods and giant Sequoias are protected.

Because trees live so long, it is easy to think of them as permanent. But, they are not. If natural events like fire, windstorms and insects do not get them, trees eventually dies of old age - to be replaced by young trees, which eventually become old trees.

MULTIPLE USE: What is the meaning of multiple use? What lands would be defined as multiple use?
National Forests. Do you know of a National Forest near you? What can you don in a National Forest? Camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, 4-wheeling, skiing, cutting Christmas trees, firewood, mining, logging, ect.

FYI: National forests were established by law "... to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of the citizens of the United States..." and to improve and protect the forest, securing favorable conditions of water flows.

The Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960 is one of the most important laws governing the management of national forests. It recognizes that they are " lands of many uses." Multiple use says that the national forests are to used for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes. The Act applies primarily to the 85 million acres of timberlands in the national forests; it does not apply to national pars, which were created to preserve natural features of areas of historical interest.

Sustained yield means harvest is in balance with growth.

TREE FARMS: Private Property.

Privately owned forests are managed and harvested like farm crops to be used to the benefit of all us. How many of you grow vegetables in a garden at home?

FYI: Of the Nation's 483 million acres of commercial forest land, 136 million acres, or 28 percent, are owned by federal, state and local governments. Fifty-seven percent of the remaining commercial woodlands - some 276 million acres - are held in relatively small tracts by individuals private owners. About 71 million acres, or 15 percent of the total commercial forest land, are owned by the forest products industry.

Multiple Use areas and Tree Farms are CONSERVES: USE, BUT USE WISELY

NOW THAT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THE DIFFERENT LAND DESIGNATIONS ON THIS MAP, what will happen if new designations are needed.

Ski Area: Want to build new ski run, lodge, ect. (Must be taken from multiple use area)
More wilderness, wild and scenic river: Again from multiple use.
Boy Scout Camp.... ect.

CONCLUSION: No right or wrong answers, only tough decisions. It is up to individuals to investigate and come to appropriate conclusion. In only a few short years the students in this class will be voting and making these decisions. It is up to them to listen and learn and make informed decisions.

REFERENCES: National Hardwood Association "Forest Resource Fact Book"; American Forest & Paper Association; American Forest Council "Stewardship & Environmental Responsibility"; and R.M. Ramirez, USFS, Shasta-Trinity National Forest