Forest Management

Forest management consists of the principles and actions for the regeneration, use, and conservation of forests. Forests, woodlands, and urban forests add to the quality of life.

Related resources for County planning include the following:



Map of Data

US 130FRG= LANDFIRE Fire Regime Groups.

Download mxd The ESRI mxd file of the services used to create the above map.

Resource Information

Potential benefits that come from good forest management include:

  • Recreation
  • Aesthetics
  • Clean water
  • Forest products (lumber, firewood, Christmas trees, etc.)
  • Wildlife habitat

Within the WFRC counties, the common forest types are as follows[1]:

  • Urban forests within cities
  • Oak-maple forests in low elevations
  • Pinyon-juniper forests low to mid-elevations
  • Douglas-fir forests in mid-elevations
  • Aspen forests in low to high elevations

The Dominant Vegetation data can be used to identify forested areas, while the Existing Vegetation Type (US 130 EVT) data can be used to identify vegetation type.

Forestry information and professional help can be obtained from the following agencies:

In 2010 (updated for 2016) the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands developed the Utah Statewide Forest Resource Assessment. The assessment:

  • provides an analysis of the forest conditions and trends in the state;
  • addresses current state and national resource management priorities;
  • spatially delineates priority rural and urban forest landscape areas;
  • ensures that state and federal resources are being focused on important landscape areas with the greatest opportunity for shared management priorities and achieve meaningful outcomes (see the Utah’s Forest Action Plan data for priority areas); and
  • enables the efficient, strategic and focused use of limited program resources.

Many communities demonstrate their commitment to urban forests by participating the the Tree City USA program (online map of Utah’s 2014 Tree City USA Communities). Also, the Utah Urban Tree Inventory data shows the location of urban trees for communities that have done an inventory.

Best Management Practices

Any harvesting of forestry products should follow the practices within Utah’s Forestry Water Quality Guidelines. These guidelines “are a collection of voluntary, field applicable practices for use during forestry activities to protect soil and water resources. They are designed to minimize nonpoint source pollution (sedimentation, soil erosion) associated with forestry activities.”[2]

The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands can give guidance and assist with preparing contracts with loggers and in preparing Forest Stewardship Plans

Economic Considerations

The market for forest products is very small in Utah, but it does exist. Forest products may be sold by board feet, by volume, or by piecemeal depending upon the product and the buyer. A professional forester can assist the seller in choosing the correct unit of measure and in determining value of the product.

USU Extension maintains a list a sawmills interested in buying logs from Utah.

The non-extractive products and benefits that come from Utah’s forests, such as recreation, water quality, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics are valuable. These contribute greatly to the quality of life in Utah and should be considered in any value consideration of Utah’s forests.

Impact Considerations

Unwise management or use of forest resources can cause erosion and water quality degradation, loss of wildlife habitat, forest health may decline increasing insect and disease outbreaks, potential for wildland fires may increase, and forests may be lost from the landscape.

Data Download
  GIS Data Map Service Web Map Document  Tabular Data  Website
Data NameData ExplanationPublication DateSpatial AccuracyContact
Utah Forest Action Plan Priority Areas
Areas of priority interest regarding forests2015UnknownGeoff McNaughton
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
Urban Tree Inventories
Trees in urban areasUpdated as inventories are conductedUnknownUtah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
USFS Timber Harvest History
Areas treated as a part of the timber harvest program 1820 - 2015
February, 2016Updated WeeklyUnited States Forest Service FACTS database
Dominant Vegetation
Easy to use data to identify general location of major tree species20011:24,000 and 1:40,000Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
LANDFIRE Existing Vegetation Type (us_130evt)
, ,
Use to distinguish between developed and vegetated land
2012Delivered as 30 meter pixels but should not be used as individual pixel or as small groups of pixelsWildland Fire Science, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
LANDFIRE website


  1. McAvoy, D., M. Kuhns, and J. Black. 2012. Utah Forest Types: An Introduction to Utah’s Forests. Utah State University Cooperative Extension. NR/FF/011.
  2. Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. 2015. Utah’s Forest Water Quality Guidelines, State of Utah.