Why are Trees being cut on Beaver Brook Trail?
PLEASE BE CAREFUL TIMBER HARVEST IN PROGRESS
WATCH FOR EQUIPMENT& FALLING TREES
WHY ARE TREES BEING CUT ON BEAVER BROOK ASSOCIATIONS LAND?
BBA has had a long history of forest management. Jeff Smith, one of the founders of BBA, was one of the first Tree Farmers in the State of New Hampshire. In fact, he donated his Tree Farm to BBA; thus, some of the woodlands have been managed for forest products since the 1920’s.
Every year, BBA conducts at least one timber harvest, as part of its long-term forest management plan. The harvest is designed to enhance wildlife habitat, encourage diversity and forest health, maintain long-term aesthetics, increase the productivity of the forest for growing timber products, and generate income for the operations of BBA’s facilities and trails. The volume of timber harvested from BBA yearly, is less than the volume that grows on BBA each year.
The timber harvest maintains long-term aesthetics by ensuring that trees have enough room to grow, and by removing unhealthy or trees at risk of being damaged by the elements, or disease. Wildlife habitat is improved by creating a diversity of vegetation types and age classes to provide food and cover. Productivity of the forest is improved by removing crowded, unhealthy, and mature trees to provide space for the remaining trees and encourage regeneration of the forest.
WHY HAS BBA SELECTED THIS AREA TO HARVEST?
Most of the area being harvested in this operation has not had trees cut since the 1938 hurricane. A small 10 acre area (identifiable by the 30 to 40 foot trees in the understory) was clear-cut around 1978 by Lorden Lumber Company from Milford, NH. In 2010, BBA purchased the land from the Lorden family.
Two silvicultural systems are being used in this harvest. The shelterwood harvest system is being used in much of the area to create growing space for the best trees and let enough sunlight reach the forest floor for new trees to regenerate. The group selection method is being used to mimic natural disturbances, like a windstorm or small fire. The group selection method removes groups of trees up to half an acre in area. This will allow more herbaceous plants to take hold, which will be beneficial to wildlife. The larger openings also make it possible for shade intolerant tree species to regenerate.
Wilkins Lumber of Milford, NH is conducting the harvest. The white pine and hemlock will be milled at Wilkins Lumber and sold to local area residents for building projects. Pulp will be sent to New England paper mills or turned into shavings for animal bedding, hardwood logs will be sold to other mills in New Hampshire and hardwood firewood will be sold locally to firewood dealers and used in BBA’s buildings.
The limbs and unmerchantable portions of the trees will be left in the woods to decompose and provide nutrients to the soil. The brush and rotting logs are important for salamanders and insects at the bottom of the food chain.
If you would like to find out more, please call Peter Smith @ the Beaver Brook Association office at 465-7787.