Forest Management

The principles and actions for the regeneration, use, and conservation of forests.

Related resource topics for county planning include the following:



Map of Data

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 three MAG counties, the common forest types are as follows [1]:

  • Urban forests within cities
  • Pinyon-juniper forests low to mid-elevations
  • Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine 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.

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 of forest resources 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 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 provide guidance and assist with preparing contracts with logging companies and in preparing Forest Stewardship Plans. Utah State University Forestry Extension is another good source of information.

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.

The Utah State University Extension maintains a list of sawmills interested in buying timber 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 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, water quality degradation, and loss of wildlife habitat. Declines in forest health increases the likelihood of insect infestation, timber disease outbreaks, and wildland fires. Without proper management, forests may be lost from the landscape.

Data Download
  GIS Data Map Service Web Map Document  Tabular Data  Website
Data NameData ExplanationPublication DateSpatial AccuracyContact
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
Urban Tree Inventories
Trees in urban areasUpdated as inventories are conductedUnknownUtah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
Utah Forest Action Plan Priority Areas
Areas of priority interest regarding forests2015UnknownGeoff McNaughton
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands


  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.