IT MUST BE NOTED THAT SOME REQUIREMENTS MAY TAKE PLACE OUTDOORS AND SCOUTS SHOULD ATTEND WITH OUTDOOR GEAR APPROPRIATE FOR THE TIME OF YEAR AND FORECASTED WEATHER CONDITIONS. PLEASE ALSO NOTE ANY SPECIAL ITEMS NEEDED FOR USE SPECIFIC TO THIS MERIT BADGE THAT SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE FOR THE CLASS.
1. Prepare a field notebook, make a collection, and identify 15 species of trees, wild shrubs, or vines in a local forested area. Write a description in which you identify and discuss the following:
a. The characteristics of leaf, twig, cone, or fruiting bodies
b. The habitat in which these trees, shrubs or vines are found.
c. The important ways each tree, shrub, or vine is used by humans or wildlife and whether the species is native or was introduced to the area. If it is not native, explain whether it is considered invasive or potentially invasive.
Scouts will need to develop and
assemble a field notebook for
completing this requirement as
well as others. Not having a
field notebook will not allow a
Scout to satisfactorily complete
many of the requirements;
including this one.
While this requirement will be
covered in the class, Scouts
must make an effort to begin
this requirement prior to the
class with some review and
preparation work. A Forestry
Merit Badge Workbook will
suffice as a field notebook
supplement. Scouts should
make every effort to have as
much of this requirement
prepared for prior to the class
2. Do ONE of the following:
a. Collect and identify wood samples of 10 species of trees. List several ways the wood of each species can be used.
b. Find and examine three stumps, logs, or core samples that show variations in the growth rate of their ring patterns. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, describe the location or origin of each example (including elevation, aspect, slope, and the position on the slope), and discuss possible reasons for the variations in growth rate. Photograph or sketch each example.
c. Find and examine two types of animal, insect, or
disease damage to trees. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, identify the damage, explain how the damage was caused, and describe the effects of the damage on the trees. Photograph or sketch each example.
The merit badge
counselor/instructor will select
one of the requirement
components to complete within
the class. Scouts are
still encouraged to review this
requirement with the use of the
Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet
and have a working knowledge of
the requirement and its
components so as to more
engagingly participate in this
requirement during the class
rather than just expecting to be
spoon-fed the information and
3. Do the following:
a. Describe the contributions forests make to:
1. Our economy in the form of products.
2. Our social well-being, including recreation
3. Soil protection and increased fertility.
4. Clean water.
5. Clean air. (carbon cycling, sequestration)
6. Wildlife habitat
7. Fisheries habitat
8. Threatened and endangered species of plants and animals
Scouts should come to the class with notes prepared for discussion on
the contributions forests make
to each of the Requirement 3a
components. The class will offer discussion time for all Scouts to share their findings.
b. Tell which watershed or other source your community relies on for its water supply.
Scouts will need to do
preparation work prior to the
class in order to be considered
for sign off on this requirement
component. Scouts will need to
research and discover their
local watershed and other
sources within their community.
Only Scouts who have done their
preparation work for this
requirement component will have
the opportunity to share their
work and be considered for sign
off. Be Prepared.
4. Describe what forest management means, including the following:
a. Multiple-use management
b. Sustainable forest management
c. Even-aged and uneven-aged management and the silvicultural systems associated with each.
d. Intermediate cuttings.
e. The role of prescribed burning and related forest management practices.
While the counselor will help facilitate the class discussion on this requirement
and its components, Scouts will need to prepare by referencing the
Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet section covering this topic. Additional resources may be utilized to prepare for class discussion.
Only Scout that actively
participate in the class
discussion will be considered
eligible for sign off on this
requirement and its components
by the counselor.
5. With your parent's and counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:
a. Visit a managed public or private forest area with the manager or a forester who is familiar with it. Write a brief report describing the type of forest, the management objectives, and the forestry techniques used to achieve the objectives.
b. With a knowledgeable individual, visit a logging operation or wood-using manufacturing plant. Write a brief report describing the following:
1. The species and size of trees being harvested or used and the location of the harvest area or manufacturer.
2. The origin of the forest or stands of trees being utilized (e.g., planted or natural)
3. The forest's successional stage. What is its future?
4. Where the trees are coming from (land ownership) or where they are going (type of mill or processing plant)
5. The products that are made from the trees
6. How the products are made and used.
7. How waste materials from the logging operation or manufacturing plant are disposed of or utilized.
c. Take part in a forest-fire prevention campaign in cooperation with your local fire warden, state wildfire agency, forester, or counselor. Write a brief report describing the campaign, how it will help prevent wildfires, and your part in it.
Requirement 5 will NOT be covered in the class HOWEVER,
Scouts may choose one of the requirement components and bring their documented proof of
work and completion for review and consideration with the counselor during the
class. Scouts should consider bringing something to share and confirm their visit
and active participation in their selected requirement component. If the work
and knowledge shared by the Scouts meets the satisfaction of the merit badge
counselor, Scouts will be signed off on this requirement during the class.
6. In your camp, local recreation area (park or equivalent), or neighborhood, inventory the trees that may be a hazard to structures or people. Make a list by area (campsite, road, trail, street, etc.). Note the species and hazardous condition, and suggest a remedy (removal or trimming). Make your list available to the proper authority or agency.
This requirement will be covered within the class.
7. Do the following:
a. Describe the consequences to forests that result from FIVE of the following elements: wildfire, absence of fire, destructive insects, loss of pollinating insect population, tree diseases, air pollution, overgrazing, deer or other wildlife overpopulation, improper harvest, and urbanization.
b. Explain what can be done to reduce the consequences you discussed in 7a.
c. Describe what you should do if you discover a forest fire and how a professional firefighting crew might control it. Name your state or local wildfire control agency.
This requirement and its components will be completed during the class. Scouts still need to be sure to review the Forestry Merit Badge pamphlet prior to the class to ensure they have a basic understanding of the requirement, its components, and the information provided in the pamphlet to help further the Scout's understanding. Only Scouts who clearly show they have prepared for
this requirement AND actively participate in the class discussion will be considered for sign off on this requirement
and its components.
8. Visit one or more local foresters and write a brief report about the person (or persons). Or, write about a forester's occupation including the education, qualifications, career opportunities, and duties related to forestry.
Requirement 8 will NOT be covered in the class HOWEVER,
Scouts are encouraged to pick one of the two options within this requirement and
complete ahead of time. The counselor will provide time for review of this
requirement during the class for Scouts who have prepared ahead of time. Time MAY be allotted within the class for Scouts to complete the forester
occupation writing option, but time may not allow for this so do not plan on
having a lot of time during the class for this. The counselor will lead a
discussion during the class about forester occupations that Scouts who come
unprepared on this requirement can easily gain the insight and knowledge to
complete this requirement and for those who have come prepared to complete the
requirement. Remember that regardless of which option a Scout chooses,
there is a writing element involved in completing this requirement; no