management, and conservation of the remaining native forests of Illinois
present a challenging but important task. Among the issues facing Illinois
forests at present are:
are explained on the following pages.
of biological diversity
by non-native species
old growth forests
lands unsuitable for cultivation escaped clearing, and most of these occurred
near streams. Streams also served as firebreaks, and were therefore typically
forested prior to European settlement. Today, most of the forests in the
south-central portion of the state are associated with streams.
of the increase in forest over the past 25 years came in the form of secondary
growth forest. Second growth forests are quite different from native forests.
Typically they occur in small, widely spaced plots of land and unless they
are managed, are likely to be degraded.