This paper presents a conceptual object-oriented design (OOD) framework for abstracting forest management design components. The framework for OOD encompassing modularity, encapsulation, interface and inheritance is used to abstract a forest management system in a modular way. We presented that using OOD approaches, a forest management model can be developed generically enough to accommodate various components of forest management modeling. The model framework is flexible and can be updated with relative efficiency, as the system design components are modularized and less independent than those designed with conventional approaches. We identified the basic components and discussed in detail their interface and behavior (functions) in a typical forest management planning process with three distinct modeling approaches; simulation, optimization and meta heuristics. We established OO management design framework which is both generic enough to provide the fundamental services to any types of forest management modeling such as simulation optimization and meta heuristics - however, we demonstrated the latter - and capable of providing specific services such as handling forest development patterns, forming strategies, forecasting and reporting forest changes. We concludes that the OOD approach for abstracting forest management design process allows a great deal of flexibility in constructing flexible, extensible, and adaptable forest management decision support systems tools and provides important information essential for the sustainable management of forested ecosystems. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.