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From the Field—Winter Stewardship Returns Savanna

Aldo亚搏电竞官网 Leopold基金会stewardship crew has been busy this winter of 2020-21. Every winter our goal is to tackle the land management activities that are larger in scope. The advantages of winter stewardship work are numerous; the ground is frozen so there is less ground disturbance, lack of bugs, less foliage to interfere with work. And then there are benefits that might get my lumberjack membership revoked: I don’t sweat as much, poison ivy is less of a concern, and the inevitable burn piles we start are just a wee bit more enjoyable.Oak wiltcan be a concern in this Sand County, so harvesting trees and working in some of ourmore wooded areas is also safest for tree health in the winter time.

From a distance, you can see the choking woody material in the before shot (top), and the more open, heritage savanna that we created.


So, our primary goal was to cut down unhealthy and/or non-fire-tolerant tree species, use chainsaws to process trees into manageable-length logs, and remove them from the unit. The forestry mower was used to mulch tree tops and any brush or shrubs to improve initial access. In the unit, we found a fair number of bur and white oak (more fire-tolerant) which we gave plenty of space to thrive. Our long-term goal for the unit is to use prescribed fire to halt future woody encroachment. Removing the woody material helps grasses and forbes become more established. With more grasses and forbes, prescribed fire carries through the unit better, securing the savanna ecosystem over time. Grasses and forbes tolerate fire, while woody plants do not. And so, the savanna cycle we want is established.

从Turner Ridge Atop Turner Ridge开始(顶部)开放,营造出野生动物友好的人友好的大草原,也是这片土地的自然遗产。

One of my favorite parts of the project is all of the different partners it brings to the table. We are doing the work to fulfill the management goals that were written for theLeopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA)on the Jim Pines family—a property that is contiguous to the Aldo Leopold Foundation. A percentage of the project is being funded throughUSDA自然资源保护服务EQIP计划. Plus, I get to work with our Fellows, watching them grow their on-the-ground stewardship skills.