Definiton of Sustained yield forestry is a concept that designs timber cutting and regrowing of timber crops to provide a perpetual yield of timber from a particular forest landscape. Initially, this concept embodied the commitment to non-declining timber yields over time.

However, the determination of annual cuts under sustained yield forestry has commonly been overly optimistic when considering both tree growth rates and the portion of a forest landscape that is suitable for the cutting and growing of timber crops over time. Thus, as a result, “sustained timber yields” have tended to decline through time as a result of excessive cutting rates that cannot be matched by the rate of regrowth of timber and by extraction of timber from land that subsequently proves to be unsuitable for timber growth and/or necessary to protect for non-timber forest uses.

Sustained yield forestry confuses timber or trees with forest ecosystems and fails to recognize that fully functioning forests are necessary to have trees, which are necessary to have timber. In contrast, an ecosystembased approach protects forest functioning at all scales through time as the first priority; and then seeks to sustain, within ecological limits, a diversity of human and non-human uses across the forest landscape.
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