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July 10, 2008 Minutes

Page history last edited by Kristina Ferrare 13 years, 2 months ago

Good Forestry in the Granite State Steering Committee

July 10, 2008, 1 pm – 4 pm

Conservation Center-Concord, NH

 

 

Present: Phil Bryce, Division of Forests and Lands, Will Abbott, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Karen Bennett, UNH Cooperative Extension, Don Kent, Natural Heritage Bureau, Chris Mattrick USFS White Mountain National Forest, Dave Publicover, AMC, Linda McGoon, DES, Mariko Yamasaki, Northern Research Station, Susan Cox, USFS – NA State and Private Forestry, Carol Foss NH Audubon, Geoff Jones, SPNHF, Dave Tellman, Tree Farmer, Dick Weyrick, GSD/SAF, Don Winsor, HHP, Jasen Stock, NHTOA, Rick Lessard, NH Timber Harvesting Council, Emily Brunkhurst, NH Fish and Game, Ken Desmarais, Division of Forests and Lands, Charlie Bridges for Will Staats, NH Fish and Game, Kristina Ferrare, UNH Cooperative Extension

 

Welcome and Introductions

Phil Bryce called the meeting to order and asked steering committee members to introduce themselves and speak to their role in the production of the original Good Forestry volume.

He then gave an overview of why Good Forestry is an important document:

  1. RSA 227:I4 requires educational tools that identify recommended voluntary forest management practices,
  2. Good Forestry is referred to in conservation easements as a guide to improving stewardship of forests in New Hampshire,
  3. the non-regulatory approach to forest management is important in New Hampshire,
  4. it is an attempt to bring together one standard for good stewardship as much as possible.

Phil then explained the role of the Steering Committee:

  • policy development
  • development ofstructure and content
  • development and enforcement of time line
  • public input and identification of educational opportunities

He also explained that the technical teams will be where the core of the work and writing will occur.

Will Abbott then explained how funding for the Good Forestry update came about. PSNH and their parent company, Northeast Utilities, made forestry a grant making initiative. SPNHF obtained a grant of $100,000 for this project. The money will cover administrative costs of the process, including public meetings, UNHCE staff, and publication/printing costs. Karen Bennett will act as the project manager.

We will do a complete assessment and a revision of the current document. The project is scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2009.

The four phases of the project as defined by the grant are:

  • a goal setting phase
  • an information gathering phase
  • a drafting phase
  • publication and rollout phase

Karen referred the committee to the handout of the Good Forestry in the Granite State Project Summary for more information.

Phil asked the committee members to review the handout with their contact information on it and to give changes to Karen.

 

What still works about the current document?

Karen asked the committee to consider three questions:

 

Does the format still work?

  1. What topics are not in the first edition that should be added?
  2. What sections are not working now?

Each question was considered in turn and people spoke around the table.

  

Question 1: Does the format still work?

Current Format: Issue, Objective, Considerations, Recommended Practices, Cross Reference, Literature Cited

Comments:

  • Straightforward
  • Like the consideration section
  • Increase illustrations and pictures to enhance when possible
  • Concise, well-organized
  • Objectives helpful – can be added right into management plans
  • Size prohibits use in field – is there a smaller field-size document possible?
  • Format is familiar
  • Tabs are a helpful organizational tool
  • Can this be published in color?
  • Consideration piece important since nothing is cut and dry
  • Electronic links in literature cited would be helpful; include URL in hardcopy
  • Original format makes it as effective as it is
  • Illustrations preferred over pictures
  • Loose leaf may not be needed – revision by replacing pages not workable
  • Enhancing graphics is important
  • Updates can be downloaded and put into the binder
  • Pick appropriate graphic picture v. illustration
  • Benefits and features of putting it on the web

Download whole document

Download individual sections

searchable

interactive references

other links for particular needs/indepth details

provide it on CD as well

PDA/card/data recorder

  • Tabs – We could separate subject matter more effectively.
    • For example: “Unique” tab – what does that mean?

 

Question 2: What topics aren’t in the document that should be there?

Comments:

  • Why another forestry “how to” book? Better explanation in the introduction about why this book is different than others
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Eco reserves – why important and how they should be incorporated into the working forest
  • Old-growth section should be redeveloped
  • Headwater streams (water quality)
  • More landscape scale considerations
  • Forest pest section – why did we choose those pests?
  • More for smaller landowners and urban forest areas (fragmentation)
  • Early successional habitat
  • Carbon
  • Wetlands section – prime wetlands should be mentioned
  • Vernal pools and seeps – why in Unique category?
  • Stream classification illustration should have numbers on it
  • More detailed discussion of management planning (possibly in own tab)
  • Conservation easement section expanded
  • Green certification section
  • How do you set harvest levels? (timber section)
  • Invasive plants and insects – HWA, Emerald ash borer
  • Shrubland and grassland habitats
  • Separate section/appendix – other topics, considerations, detailed reference list for an audience that may wish to go deeper into any subject area
  • Appropriate buffers
  • Climate change – carbon, changing communities, implications etc
  • Fisheries
  • How does the user deal with complex situations and interconnectedness of separate, discrete sections
  • A couple of sections about safety particularly for landowners
  • Contacts for regulatory information
  • Forest health
  • Financial aspects of forestry. For example, different cost share programs and how to access them
  • Timber harvesting – cut to length, whole tree harvesting different harvest systems strengths and weaknesses
  • Other licensed professionals besides foresters such as certified loggers
  • Being safe including chain saw safety
  • Permanent openings and wildlife diversity
  • Vernal pools revision
  • Rare wildlife; wildlife species of concern
  • Other habitat types: floodplain forests, pine barrens
  • Forest planning and where/how to get information for this
  • Forest growth
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Look at existing green certification systems and the correlation between this document and certification systems
  • Biomass harvesting
  • Include table of contents in section tabs to help locate topics
  • Landowner assistance programs through industry
  • Recreation, trail construction, managing recreation on your property
  • Description of NH forest types – Wildlife Action Plan has a crosswalk between different types. Make sure everyone understands each others language re: communities
  • Unifying summary on tab for each section
  • Threatened and endangered species and requirement of complex habitat types – such as turtles and landings
  • There are special considerations associated with each forest type
  • There are implications for wildlife in all sections (for example log landings). Wildlife considerations should be in all sections as appropriate.
  • Be cautious about producing a document that paralyzes people with too much.
  • Be cautious about conflicting recommendations for the same area.
  • There will be conflicts. Decisions are left up to the landowner
  • We should help people develop a strategy.
  • Planning section should include a section on developing objectives.
  • Stream crossings

 

Phil stressed that the intent of the original Good Forestry was to address operational issues related to timber harvesting (and perhaps other operational issues) as written in the introduction and that the intended audience is land managers- landowners, foresters, loggers, wildlife biologists, wetland scientists. This focus and audience provides direction for topics covered and content of each chapter. Topics covered and content may change if this focus changes.

On issues such as climate change it must be distilled down to a “local” level. There could be practical information we could offer a landowner on broad topics.

 

If we are going to address the landscape scale stuff we have to address the management plans.

What utility will with publication have? Inform management planning? How operational is this document supposed to be?

 

Question 3: What sections aren’t working now?

Comments:

  • Recommended RMZs p.28 – need more flexibility here
  • Snags and cavities p.58 – hard to use not specific enough
  • Rare plants – needs to be reworked
  • Forest health – insect, disease, wind damage
    • Statement about species we may not know much about
    • Catastrophic weather event and steps to take
    • Revisit silvicultural approaches
  • Regeneration section
  • In real life, forest structure is more amorphous than even-aged and uneven-aged management
  • The real question to address for landowners is, “How do you work with what you find on the ground?”
  • Old growth – new information since last publication
  • Crosswalk between communities (see WAP)
  • More consistency in format from chapter to chapter

 

The discussion continued about the focus of the book on operational issues related to timber harvesting. Could including carbon in the book cause conservations easements to be interpreted differently. Would the inclusion of carbon in Good Forestry mean that easement monitors may require landowners to have a “carbon plan”?

 

The carbon discussion could be framed as an operational issue. The science for the carbon discussion is still being sorted out and we should focus on what we know, and there are certainly operational components to these issues.

 

Charlie Bridges read an email from Will Staats on North Country foresters and their lack of familiarity with the Good Forestry publication.

 

Workplan Discussion

Karen explained that all committee members should review the first edition of Good Forestry more extensively and prepare to comment more specifically on the sections and their component pares (issues, objectives, etc.)

Phil said this is critical to getting the project started. What is wrong or right about the document? Start preparing edits now.

Kristina explained briefly that the web site is established and the last edition of Good Forestry will be posted around July 25. An email to all Steering Committee members with instructions on how to use the site will let people know when they can being commenting on the document.

 

Public and Practitioner Input

Karen asked the group to consider how we will gather public and practitioner input, and what they will do with it.

Who isn’t sitting at the table today that should be represented?

 

  • Consultants in the North Country
  • Someone from Biomass industry
  • Pulp and paper industry
  • NH Association of Natural Resource Scientists
  • Conservation Districts and NRCS
  • State conservation committee
  • Non-forester who is skilled at public relations (Dave Anderson from SPNHF)
  • Land Trusts or Conservation Commissions for the easement piece
  • Public comment should have good geographic representation.

Karen asked that people send ideas to her.

 

The group briefly reviewed the handout draft survey. The group felt strongly that a large mailing may not get a good return. It would be better to send out a small, focused mailing to a group of people that we know will respond. For example, have county foresters, tree farm, timber harvesting council, and others supply names and we target those people with the survey. Licensed foresters also will receive a survey.

 

Some suggested questions for the survey are:

  • Why haven’t you been using Good Forestry?
    • Give choices like: Didn’t know about it, and use other information.
  • Ask landowners if Good Forestry has helped them be more confident about their decisions.
    • What section do you find most useful?
  • Should this survey be a dichotomous key?

 

Next meeting:

The next meeting of the Steering Committee will be August 21 at 1 pm at the Conservation Center.

 

The Committee should read and submit comments on the first edition by August 14. You will receive instructions on using the web site to submit comments.

 

The meeting adjourned at 4pm.

Notes taken by Kristina Ferrare

 

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