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Table of Contents >> 6.4 Overstory Inclusions << 6.5 Permanent Openings >> 6.6 Temporary Openings Created by Forest Management



Permanent openings up to a few acres in size and dominated by grasses, forbs, brambles, or shrubs provide valuable habitat for many wildlife species.

Nonforested uplands and wetlands cover a small portion of New Hampshire, but they may contribute a disproportionately high share of wildlife habitat. They provide necessary habitat for about 22 percent of New England's wildlife species and seasonally important habitat to nearly 70 percent, including "species of greatest conservation need" such as eastern towhee and New England cottontail.

Some guidelines suggest maintaining 3 to 5 percent of forest land in permanent openings. The value of these openings depends on the surrounding landscape. They are more beneficial in large areas of continuous forest cover than in areas with a mixture of forest and nonforest habitats.

Permanent openings in a managed forest include (1) remnant meadows, pastures, or orchards on abandoned agricultural land, (2) log landings and roads created during timber harvesting and maintained afterward, and (3) openings where herbaceous forages are planted and maintained as wildlife food plots.


Create or maintain permanent openings dominated by grasses, forbs, or shrubs within forest-dominated upland landscapes.



Recommendations for establishing new openings


3.3 Aesthetics of Skid Trails, Truck Roads and Landings; 5.2 Invasive Plants; 6.6 Temporary Openings; 6.13 Wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need; 7.4 Pine Barrens.


DeGraaf, R., M. Yamasaki, W. B. Leak, and A. M. Lester. 2006. Technical Guide to Forest Wildlife Habitat Management in New England. University of Vermont Press and University Press of New England, Burlington, Vt. 305 p.

Olson, D., and C. Langer. 1990. Care of Wild Apple Trees. UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, N.H. 8 p.

Tubbs, C.H., and L.J. Verme. 1972. How to Create Wildlife Openings in Northern Hardwoods. USDA For. Serv. NA—State and Private Forestry. 6 p.

6.4 Overstory Inclusions << 6.5 Permanent Openings >> 6.6 Temporary Openings Created by Forest Management

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