Category Archives: Practices

Best management practices for woodland managagement

Maintain Dirt and Gravel Forest Roads

The goal of this field guide is to provide examples of environmentally sensitive maintenance practices, which if implemented reduce erosion and sediment, maintain subsurface hydrologic connectivity, restore drainage density to more natural conditions, and eliminate diversion potential.

Additionally environmentally sensitive maintenance practices reduce long term maintenance costs and lengthen maintenance cycles.

Road Maintenance

 

Woodland Owner Webinar Series Recordings Available

UK Forestry and Natural Resources Extension recently partnered with some of its neighbor Forestry Extension programs to offer a woodland and wildlife webinar series. More than 30 Kentucky County Extension Offices hosted  the series.

 

The series featured forestry and wildlife experts from around the region with the final webinar highlighting programs and organizations available to support Kentucky’s woodland owners.

 

View the Woodland Stewards Webinar Series … “Getting to Know Your Woodlands: A Primer for Beginners Webinar Series“. http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinars/woodland-stewards-webinar-series-introduction-to-your-woodlands

 

In addition to this webinar series, UK Forestry and Natural Resources Extension has more than 10 other webinar recordings that you can view for free… http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/previous_webinars

The Lost Art of Floating Logs

It was a center jam—a potential man killer. Huge 16-foot saw logs, weighing up to 2,000 pounds, crunched against one another like shoestring potatoes in a crazy man’s skillet. Logs were jammed up for half a mile back.

The river boss was all over the place, trying to find the key log. When he spotted it, a dozen men set their peavey hooks into it and strained. No go. Then the river boss ordered a charge of dynamite. “Whoomp!” went the explosion and a white plume of water shot skyward. That did it. “She’s a-pullin’!” went up the cry.

That’s a log drive—one of the most spectacular and action-packed features of America’s annual timber harvest that reaches a total of 35 billion feet a year.

Read more…

This feature originally appears in the May 1949 issue of Popular Mechanics.

New Video Highlighting Forestry and the Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Act

UK Forestry Extension. Check out this great video highlighting forestry and the  Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Act which features Kentucky Master Woodland Steward and Kentucky Woodland Owners Association Board Member Harry Pelle and his wife Karen.

Learn how the Pelle’s have implemented numerous conservation practices that benefit their woodlands and help to enhance water quality in Kentucky. To learn more about the Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Act and how to make your own ag water quality plan, please click here.

Woodland Management Help in Central and Northeast Kentucky

UK Forestry Extension. Woodland owners in Central and Northeast Kentucky have a new opportunity to receive woodland management plans through a recently awarded Regional Conservation Partnership Program project entitled “Increasing Farm Bill Participation and Benefits”. The project’s primary goal is to service a backlog of requests for woodland management plans in KDF’s Central and Northeast regions. The University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and the Kentucky Division of Forestry developed and were awarded this USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) project that utilizes financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to develop new woodland management plans for Kentucky landowners. If you have been waiting to have a woodland management plan developed and your property is in the project area, please visit your local NRCS office and let them know you want to participate in the UK Forestry-RCPP program. Got questions or need more information? Please email or call Billy Thomas at billy.thomas@uky.edu or call 859.257.9153.

California fires spark debate over forest management

Can most of the blame for California’s devastating wildfires be attributed to the state’s forest management? Fire scientists recognize a larger effect from climate change in promoting abnormally dry conditions and dead trees. The first nine months of 2018 have been the fourth-warmest on record for California. This past summer was the second-hottest on record in the state. An additional factor is the encroachment of urban development on wildlands.

Most of California’s forests are under federal or private control. US agriculture and interior secretaries Perdue and Zinke are pressing for farm bill authorizations in the current House version of the bill (Forestry Title of H.R. 2) which includes amendments mandating a controversial expansion of “categorical exclusions,” which allow land managers to fast track forest management projects and largely bypass environmental review. Read the transcript for a National Public Radio interview with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who oversees the U.S. Forest Service.

Leading experts in forest ecology management think the Forest Title in the House version of the Farm Bill  does not properly address science-based prevention programs such as controlled burning and fuel reduction in wildland urban interface areas as well as the critical role of climate change. Instead it focuses on accelerated commercial logging and road building which generally exacerbate fire risk. The House bill’s forestry provisions also expand post-fire “salvage” logging which they contend contributes to ecological recovery in the disturbed area. New “categorical exclusions” limit input from state wildlife agencies among others. Read more 

Greg Aplet, science director for the Wilderness Society in Denver, takes the view of many wildfire behavior scientists: If the goal is to protect communities and lives from fire, the emphasis first needs to be on clearing out those dried out fine fuels, the understory, from the forest floor, not the green live trees. “The Forest Service often lacks the personnel and the resources to do the types of landscape-scale restoration work that needs to be done,” says Nick Smith, executive director of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities, a non-profit forestry group. Read more

According to Dr. Chad Hanson, director and principal ecologist for the California-based John Muir Project, logging, including many projects deceptively promoted as forest “thinning,” removes fire-resistant trees, reduces the cooling shade of the forest canopy and leaves behind highly combustible twigs and branches. Read more:… The California fires took place in some of the most heavily logged areas of the Sierra Nevada range.

A study by Hanson and others of whether increased forest protection corresponds to higher severity in frequent-fire forests of the western US found that forests with higher levels of protection had lower severity values even though they are generally identified as having the highest overall levels of biomass and fuel loading. Some of these researchers have hypothesized that as forests mature, the overstory canopy results in cooling shade that allows surface fuels to stay moister longer into fire season. This effect may also lead to a reduction in pyrogenic native shrubs and other understory vegetation that can carry fire, due to insufficient sunlight reaching the understory.

In general, their findings—that forests with the highest levels of protection from logging tend to burn least severely—suggest a need for managers and policymakers to rethink current forest and fire management direction, particularly proposals that seek to weaken forest protections or suspend environmental laws ostensibly to facilitate a more extensive and industrial forest–fire management regime.