A snag is a standing dead or dying tree, and a downed log is a log that is lying on or near the forest floor. Snags, logs, and woody debris are natural occurrences in mature forests. Trees can be killed by lightning, storm breakage, fire, disease, insects, or a variety of other factors. Resource managers are becoming more aware of the importance of snags and rotting, downed logs as wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, forest practices such as shorter rotations, firewood removal, timber stand improvement and insect and disease control efforts have limited the number of snags and downed logs available for wildlife habitat. Creating and protecting them in the forest is a simple, low cost habitat improvement that has great benefits for a wide range of wildlife species.

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