Ecological Forestry Alternatives to Clearcutting in Aspen Forests
We focused the first year on re-sampling the site previously sampled with SARE funding, establishing connections with supporting partners, hosting a field day, and developing outreach alternatives to the original workplan as LFC has closed operations. Grant funds were used to pay for data collection primarily and some went to a field day.
Re-sampling points established 6-7 years ago in a forest proved challenging but we succeeded in finding all 16 plots scattered through 80 acres of forest. Plots were re-monumented for continued research. Protocol was evaluated and refined for the creation of additional plots in new stands.
A connection with faculty at Northland College (John Martin) should benefit the project. A student work-study project was created with the data from re-sampling. Engaging students in further implementing the project should assist with outcomes.
UW Extension Agriculture Agent, Jason Fishbach was engaged in the project. Jason assisted in generating the GIS information from which plots were re-sampled, plans for website creation, and field day preparation.
One field day was held with great turn out for this area – 33 landowners attended. The focus was on tax strategies for forest landowners to make their forestry operations more profitable parts of their operations. NRCS District Conservationist, Gary Haughn and Jason Fishbach UWEX were helpful in promoting the workshop.
LEARNED SO FAR
Primary results are still pending the processing of data. Secondary results are the formation of a local network with UW Extension, USDA, Northland College, and local consultants to support sustainable forestry, filling some of the gap left locally by the closing of Living Forest Cooperative.
Getting 33 landowners out to discuss sustainable forestry in terms of better understanding of tax implications is the primary outreach result to date. Planning began on a website to provide information to landowners.
WORK PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR
1. Evaluate data from re-sampled plots per proposal
2. Hold one field day specific to re-sampled plots and findings relevant to that site.
3. Finalize new baseline plot sites, collect data, utilize Northland College students to expedite data collection.
4. Literature search.
5. Data compilation and paper preparation, submission for review.
6. Create a website for forest landowners supported by UW Extension staff.
7. Hold several additional field days on sustainable forestry topics (one on agroforestry is in the works now.)
The project has not generated much information to share to date.
The 33 attendees at the one field day were informed of the project, goals, and plans. Northland College and USDA local staff have been informed of the project and are supporting the effort.
Plans for sharing the information continue as per the grant:
1- Preparation, dissemination, and publishing a research paper.
2- Creation of an easily maintained web resource for forest landowners which can be supported long term with UW Extension assistance.
3- Hosting field days promoted with direct mailings to landowners in the region describing the project and findings to date.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
115 Bayfield ST.
Washburn, WI 54891
Office Phone: 7153736104