French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll has announced the publication of a new technical guide for forestry called “Successful Forest Plantation.” Previous versions of this guide in 1986 and 1990 were received with great public enthusiasm and commended by industry professionals, especially those involved in reforestation efforts. Since the legal, technical and environmental context has undergone much change over the past two decades, the guide has been updated and is sure to be an indispensable tool.

These days it is imperative that we make more concerted forest regeneration efforts, be it by means of plantation or by natural regeneration. Logging and other naturally-occurring destructive events such as fires and droughts cause damages that must not go unrepaired.

The “Successful Forest Plantation” technical guide is the fruit of the collective labors of many reforestation stakeholders, both public and private, who have contributed to its comprehensive renovation. It underscores the importance of proper plantation and the far-reaching impact this has on the entire wood industry and on its stakeholders. It is essential, for example, to determine the apt environment for a species and its genetic resources, given the investment represented by the differing life spans observed in different plant varieties (20-200 years).

This guide represents an important part of the French Ministry of Agriculture’s long-standing and ambitious policy for the improvement forest plant inventory, conservation, selection and the diversification of high-performance genetic resources. Current Minister Stéphane Le Foll has maintained that this industry’s strategic importance must be “strongly reaffirmed” and afforded its proper place within the recently launched national program for forestry and wood.