Forestry holdings need to be spatially structured for access, water drainage, timber production and the conservation and restoration of natural resources. The science of land use planning aims to provide the most cost-effective and mutually beneficial options for locating and integrating these activities in developing forestry enterprises. In addition, a sustainable balance needs to be found between commercial production and natural resource conservation. The location and extent of production areas are not only constrained by the costs and risks associated with afforestation and harvesting in relation to timber value, but also by the potential impacts of afforestation on water resources and quality, soil conservation and nutrient reserves, and the ecological diversity, integrity and functioning of natural habitats and biota.
Parameters to be included in land use planning include the road system, commercial production units (stands/compartments), fire breaks, fire detection, log decks and depots, drainage lines, wetlands, conservation units and servitudes.