Two years ago, we bought and moved into our five-acre homestead in Western PA (Allegheny Mountains, USDA zone 6). The house and land were perfect--except that there had been selective logging done just before they put the property on the market. This led to a huge amount of brush piles, downed wood, etc, all over 4 of our acres--its really an overwhelming amount. We've cut what we can for firewood, made as many hugels as we can in our garden, but there's still a lot left. We've worked to replant a good bit of the forest with chestnut and pawpaw and are slowly clearing the brush, making paths, and planting good things. The good news is that the overstory that's left is oak, hickory, sugar maple, and cherry, primarily, which gives us lots of potential and harvests moving forward.
Most of my PDC was focused on garden and garden design, and so I've been looking for knowledge/resources on forest regeneration and management. There are a lot of decisions to make, and I'm not always sure what ones are best. Most of the books I've found on managing woodlots are really focusing on them for timbering and they are starting with the assumption that you don't have a mess everywhere. Our goal is very different: its a food forest, habitat, and health of the forest. Maybe occasionally some firewood or logs for natural building projects, but only those that are ready to come down.
I'm wondering if anyone has specific resources for how to regenerate the land from such a situation from an explicitly regenerative/permaculture framework.