The picture shows what the forest looked like at this spot about two years after the establishment of the preserve in May 2009. Do you see any differences between the picture and the forest’s current state?
In a commercial forest, trees are usually even-aged, there are not many tree species and there is not much dead wood. Has the number of saplings and young trees increased and are the saplings different species than the dominant species? Is there variation in height or diameter among the dominant species? Are there fallen or snapped trees or snags? These are all signs that forest is returning to a natural state.
Uneven age structure of the forest, diversity of species and dead wood create life chances for a wide variety of species. They are best realized in forests that have been unmanaged for a long time, but nature remedies the situation year by year in commercial forests, too, if given the chance.