The DFW Forestry Program first produced a comprehensive set of Forest Management Guidelines pdf format of forest_mgt_guide.pdf
for state wildlife lands in June of 1996, and subsequently edited the guidelines in December of 2000. The guidelines are now somewhat dated, and will ultimately be revised, but still provide a comprehensive, historical overview of DFW's approach to management of forested habitats for wildlife. These guidelines helped to shape the current ecoregion-based forest planning effort for DFW lands that has received broad public support at various public meetings over the past few years.

The DFW Forest Management Guidelines set state-wide goals for providing a range of forest conditions, age classes, and structural diversity intended to enhance and maintain the biological diversity of species, communities, and ecosystems. These Guidelines reference the state's land use history, review pertinent literature on wildlife habitat management, and consider the ecology of natural disturbance processes in order to establish landscape composition goals for DFW forestlands.

Except in the case of rare species protection, the Guidelines are not oriented toward game, non-game or single species management. They provide a state-wide background and reference for DFW forest management planning. The Guidelines recommend the designation of active and passive management areas in order to achieve landscape composition goals. Active management areas are open to sustainable harvesting of wood products to provide young forest habitat and to enhance structural habitat attributes (e.g., snags, den trees, mast-producing trees, coarse woody debris). Passive management areas include forest reserves that will typically be closed to commercial timber harvesting in order to provide biologically mature forest habitat (generally >150 years old) and to provide control sites for evaluating the sustainability of harvesting conducted in active management areas.

Active and passive management are discussed in great detail in recent DFW Forest Management Zone (FMZ) plans . The FMZ planning process has replaced the sub-watershed basin approach described on pages 19-20 of the Forest Management Guidelines.