Tuesday, September 15, 2015

forest landowner

one of the items on the venture vermont challenge is to go for a walk "in the woods with a forest landowner, logger, or forester" and while that's not difficult in principle, you have to call up your forest managing friends and ask them to make time.

what a happy coincidence it was, then, that as i was coming out of the woods after a bike ride, i ran into my friend jim on his way back from lunch.

now, i know it says "walk", but jim was on a bike and i was on a bike because that's just the way we roll.

he was on his way back out to the splitter, but he was happy to have me come along and he was happy to talk with me about the management of this particular forest.

state representative jim mccullough and his wife lucy ("be sure you mention lucy, because it's the jim and lucy show") own and manage the forest at the catamount family outdoor center. They harvest wood from the forest to heat the house, which is also the catamount bed and breakfast.

because the property is under current use, the forest has to be managed under a plan made with the chittenden county forester according to sustainable forest practices. They cut only marked trees, but wind storms in recent years have given enough blowdowns that they cut up a lot of what's already down.

As part of their forestry plan, they select mature trees for harvest, which gives trees in the understory opportunity to grow. they also give consideration to where mature trees are sited with relation to trails for what jim calls "social value" because a nice mature forest is pretty to walk and run and bike in. near the trails they'll leave mature trees as they are, but in the large forest areas between trails, they'll thin the basal area  between thirty and fifty percent.

here's a little video of it. i have to apologize for the sound quality; i wan't expecting to meet jim, so i had my camera set up waterproof instead of sound friendly.

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