| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!

View
 

July 23, 2009 Minutes

Page history last edited by Kristina Ferrare 12 years, 3 months ago

 

Good Forestry in the Granite State

Steering Committee Meeting

July 23, 2009

Conservation Center, Concord NH

 

Present:

 

Will Abbott, Forest Society, Karen Bennett, UNH Cooperative Extension, Bob Bradbury, Landvest, Emily Brunkhurst, NH Fish and Game, Phil Bryce, Fountains America, Susan Cox, USFS State and Private Forestry, Kristina Ferrare, UNH Cooperative Extension, Will Guinn for Ken Desmaris, NH Division of Forests and Lands, Geoff Jones, Forester, Don Kent, NH Natural Heritage Bureau, Rick Lessard, NH Timber Harvesting Council, Bill Leak, Northern Research Station, Linda Magoon, NH DES, Will Staats, NH Fish and Game, Jasen Stock, NHTOA, Matt Tarr, UNH Cooperative Extension, Dave Tellman, Landowner and NH Tree Farmer, Dick Weyrick, GSD SAF, Mariko Yamasaki, USFS Northern Research Station, Mark Zankel, The Nature Conservancy

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:07am by Karen Bennett.

 

 

Review Minutes from June Meetings

 

June 18, 2009 minutes

 

Geoff Jones moved to approve the June 18 minutes. The motion was seconded by Dick Weyrick.

 

Emily Brunkhurst asked to change sentence two, paragraph thirteen in the discussion of Riparian Areas to read “The stream adjacent to the harvested area has a change in species richness because there are no inputs.”

 

The July 18 minutes passed with this change.

 

June 24, 2009 minutes

 

Don Kent and Susan Cox moved to accept the July 18 minutes. Emily Brunkhurst seconded the motion.

 

The July 24 minutes passed as presented.

 

Phil Bryce reminded the group that Karen uses the minutes as a guideline when editing, because they provide a record of changes and decisions. As we get closer to the end of the project, we will record very specific decisions in the minutes.

 

Karen outlined the agenda for the day. Emily, Phil and Jasen will review their discussions with NHTOA representatives regarding the water resources chapters. The Vernal Pool section is ready for a second review. Matt will present the Permanent Openings section to the committee for the first time.

 

 

Water Resources Chapters

 

Phil told the group that he would be happy to review sections or issues with any group, as he had done recently with NHTOA. Including other stakeholders in the process informs the public input process. He and Emily met with Jasen and NHTOA members to review four of the water resources chapters: water quality, streams and stream habitat, wetlands, and riparian areas.

 

During the meeting, they discussed general concerns that the book was not enough about forest management, but other issues. They want to be sure landowner objectives have a clear place in the context of the considerations and recommended practices.

 

Jasen explained that his constituents feel strongly that the recommendations are voluntary, even though they get picked up by easement language and towns. Landowner goals and objectives (and regulations) should be dictating what happens on the ground. The group also wants to avoid terms with regulatory connotations, such as buffer.

 

Phil said the meeting was a way to avoid problems when the draft is released for public comment.

 

Emily explained that the group was reviewing the most controversial chapters in the book out of context. They were only presented with the water chapters. She brought the most up-to-date drafts to the meeting, which incorporated comments and suggestions from previous steering committee meetings. The redline comments presented today are strictly from the NHTOA meeting.

 

Phil made a general suggestion about the stream crossing and riparian area sections. These chapters should refer to “stream habitat” and “riparian habitat” because much of the discussion and recommendations are focused on habitat.

 

Will Staats asked if changes needed to be made to make this more of a forestry document. Phil thought it may be as simple as using the phrase “When practicing forest management…” in the context of discussions.

 

Susan Cox asked whether the NHTOA foresters had been to the GSD SAF meeting in February, because the book was discussed there. Jasen thought at least one person had been to the GSD SAF meeting.

 

Will Abbot asked how municipalities are adopting Good Forestry (GF) recommendations. Emily explained that some towns choose certain recommendations and turn them into an ordinance. Emily suggested addressing this in the introductory materials. Matt Tarr suggested that some of the introduction be geared towards towns and how to use Good Forestry appropriately. Will A. explained that knowing what communities are doing can help us focus our outreach. Will Guinn explained that on state lands they use GF as a guide almost like a regulatory document. Towns may look to the state and get the idea that they should do the same.

 

Someone asked how the state deals with conflicting recommendations. Will G. explained that they are addressed thoroughly in a planning report so that if a recommended practice is not followed, it is clear why.

 

Don Kent expressed that it is essential the introduction address the intended use of the book. It should state that no one goal is more important than another. Landowners will define their goals and make management choices based on them.

 

Don also said we have little control over the way towns choose to use GF. Will A. explained the importance of addressing how towns use the book. Avoiding unnecessary regulation is one of the reasons that GF exists.

 

Mark Zankel acknowledged that some towns will make ordinances out of recommendations, but we do need to address the appropriate use of the book in the introduction. We can try to limit this activity.

 

Geoff Jones foresees a role for conservation commissions. By cultivating the message to the conservation commissions, they can help advise their towns as to appropriate use of GF.

 

Dick explained that GF is referenced in easement language. This can be difficult with the respect to easement monitoring. It is sometimes unclear what the landowner really needs to do to comply with the easement.

 

Karen said that once people see the draft of the entire document, it will be clear that the document is about forest management.

 

Don and Will A. said we need to make a decision about how to address towns. We need to understand what towns are actually adopting which may make us address things differently. We cannot tell towns what to do, but we can clearly advise them about how to use the book.

 

Jasen asked how DRED considered GFGS and easement monitoring. Phil explained that compliance is with the entire book, not every recommendation. Phil said the language says to manage in accordance with GF not in accordance with the recommendations in chapter x.

 

 

Water Quality

 

Emily explained that NHTOA had some questions but generally favorable comments on this section. Many questions were directed to DES, and Linda will get clarifications.

 

Karen asked that from this point, please send edits directly to her, rather than to the author or posting them on the wiki. She has begun the process of editing.

 

Mark noted that local laws may not be referred to as “statues”. Karen will check to make sure that we use the correct term.

 

On page 2, Emily deleted the phrase “use of chemicals” because the NHTOA folks considered this inflammatory. She asked whether the comment that the use of pesticides and herbicides is regulated by the state should be included. Phil said it should. It is good to remind landowners of pesticide regulations.

 

 

Mark asked what is inflammatory about the phrase "use of chemicals". Karen explained that, while using chemicals is not often done, using the phrase with timber harvesting gives an impression that the two practices go together.

 

Jasen added that chemical use is more common with the need to control invasive species. Karen agreed but recommended we avoid the implication that chemicals are used whenever you harvest. Separate these activities.

 

Phil suggested adding another sentence to clarify that chemicals are not necessarily always part of forest management.

 

The first recommendation about harvest layout is more detailed than before. It is also moved to the top of the list of recommended practices.

 

The tenth bullet under recommended practices refers to forested wetland. The same recommendation appears in the wetlands recommendations. Emily felt that the recommendation needed some more work with wording. The group was also uncertain whether corduroy or chipping debris is considered fill. Will G. asked whether “chipping debris” was their wording. It sounds as though the operation might be chipping directly into the wetland. He suggested that “tops or woody material” might be better words. Linda confirmed that corduroy can be left in a wetland as long as there is no defined channel.

 

Phil asked whether there are places where you could put tops and not need a permit, such as wet ground. If so, we should clarify that. We should add a sentence that says permitting may be required and reference the wetlands chapter.

 

Mark asked why this recommendation is in water quality and the wetlands chapter. Why not just the wetlands chapter? Jasen said it is in response to language that was deleted. Mark asked if was significant enough to repeat in two sections.

 

The Steering Committee agreed that the recommendation will be deleted from the water quality chapter and only stated in the wetlands chapter.

 

Linda said the citation in recommendation twelve needs to be updated. Phil asked that “oil tanks” be changed to “fuel tanks” in the same recommendation.

 

Bill raised a concern about paragraph four under Considerations. He is still concerned about defining what a “significant proportion” of the watershed means. He said clearcutting is connected to water quantity not water quality, as long as roads and skid trails are appropriately used.

 

Don asked if he was looking for more specific language on erosion and sedimentation. Bill said no, those are connected to roads and skid trails. There are many concepts and subjects included in the discussion and the relationship between related sections is not clear.

 

Phil asked where that paragraph came from. It was in the original document, but the last bullet (riparian areas) is new. Phil added that relationship between chapters will be addressed during editing.

 

Someone asked about a citation for the recommendation. Does the WMNF have a guideline? Emily relied that she had found nothing specific. 

 

Phil suggested qualifying the statement with “particularly if skid trails and the road system are not properly designed and maintained.” Susan said that this concept should be discussed in the road design and layout section. Mark asked to make sure that management of the riparian zone is included in the consideration as well. 

 

Bill asked to see the edited version of the watershed stuff when finished to determine if they are better integrated. He wanted to be certain that we are clear that stream crossings cannot be eliminated, but minimized, with careful planning. 

 

He wondered if the statement “removing a significant proportion of the forest cover” should be removed from the consideration. Don said there are too many variables in making management choices, and we should be cautious about making blanket statements.

 

Mark suggested that this consideration is unnecessary if other recommendations in the book are followed. Geoff said it is important to disconnect the notion that clearcutting always leads to erosion. 

 

Don felt that this argument is too nuanced. He suggested deleting the consideration. 

 

Phil wanted to provide some direction. Someone suggested that the decision to clearcut involves a lot of other issues besides just water quality. Perhaps the entire consideration should be removed from the water quality chapter. The group agreed. 

 

Streams and Stream Crossings

 

Emily wanted to keep “crossings” in the section title because crossings are discussed in the chapter. The discussion goes beyond other BMPs to address downstream impacts. We want people to understand that there are different BMPs involved to assure aquatic organism stream passage. The group agreed to change the section title to Streams, Stream Habitat and Crossings.

 

Mariko asked if we assume that all organisms have equal standing in this process. Emily said yes, and Phil agreed. We are protecting habitat for organisms we may not know much about.

 

Emily explained that one idea that she strengthened in this chapter as a result of the discussion with NHTOA is landowner objectives and cost. All of the chapters have the idea of cost as a deciding factor, but where is it most appropriate to discuss this. She tried to strengthen that notion in this chapter. Karen asked if it is discussed in the Considerations section. Emily said yes. 

 

Referring to paragraph three in the Issues section, Phil added that the last sentence about costs and permitting requirements sets a positive tone for the discussion. 

 

Someone asked whether we are using the term “natural resource professional” throughout the book. Don said the term is very broad. Are all natural resource professionals qualified to make decisions about streams and stream crossings? Karen said she uses the term globally in other publications.

 

Emily suggested defining natural resource professional in the glossary. Mark suggested saying “qualified” natural resource professional, and describe what qualified means. Karen said “qualified” is implied and does not need to be added to the text.

 

Emily explained that she tried to separate permanent vs. temporary bridges more effectively. Phil asked if we were using the term “truck roads” or “access roads”. Karen will make that decision.

 

Referring to the bridges discussion, Bob Bradbury pointed out that permanent bridges may not cost more. Emily acknowledged this and said she wants people to think about what they are choosing. Bob agreed that the wording was acceptable. 

 

Bill Leak asked if the language around intermittent streams could be lightened up. He finds the attention paid to intermittent streams confusing. Emily replied that there is new research on the importance of intermittent streams and she tried to include it.

 

Referring to paragraph five under Issues, Jasen asked about a reference to the Nash Stream study and John McGee’s personal communication. He asked if this was a real study or a casual observation. Mark said it is a real study. There is a lot of data that is partially analyzed. Mark felt there is data to merit the citation. Since there is a study, Karen suggested keeping the citation and changing the reference from personal communication to “unpublished”.

 

In the paragraph on culverts, Phil suggested revising the sentence on cross drains to state the reason why they are not included in the recommendations (cross drains are not used in stream channels).

 

In the section on fords, Jasen asked to change the first sentence to say “may block” aquatic organism passage. Mark suggested changing “block” to “impair”.

 

Under stone fords, Will Guinn suggested that 3-6 inch stone should be used instead of 1-4 inch stone. The group agreed to remove the reference to 6 foot boulders.

 

Geoff asked if the location of the stone ford in the watershed matters. Emily said no. It acts as a dam in all streams. Geoff asked about beaver dams in comparison to stone fords. Emily agreed that they act as dams, but they are part of the natural ecosystem. Emily said the paragraph intends to discourage people from using stone fords based on updated information.

 

There are two comments in the stone ford section which will be addressed by John McGee.

 

Rick asked about the poled ford discussion. He has always used pipe (a minimum of 12 inches diameter) with poles to allow water flow. He also uses panels, that is five or so 10x10s or 12x12s bolted together as a temporary bridge. Phil said this is commonly known as a temporary skidder bridge.

 

Returning to stone fords, someone asked if they can be removed. If they are removed, there can be damage. Emily is not comfortable suggesting that stone fords can be removed. Linda pointed out that the BMP manual (Cullen) suggests that they are permanent. Will G. explained that in NH it is standard practice to leave a stone ford in with a culvert. Will S. added that the stone ford makes a better approach to the culvert and there is a means to let water through if the volume exceeds the culvert. This should be explained in the stone ford section.

 

The group agreed that the Objective was well-stated.

 

Under consideration one, Emily asked Karen to work on the wording of that consideration.

 

Linda said that bullet three could be deleted as it was not true. It is stream size not culvert size that drives the permitting process.

 

Don asked about the last consideration and what “properly” meant. Karen will work on the wording of this consideration. Rick suggested the phrase “as ground conditions permit”.

 

Phil reminded the group to change the angular stone size to 3-6 inches in recommendation sixteen.

 

Will Guinn asked to add “when practicable” as a qualifier to bullet 4. Karen said almost every recommendation could use this phrase, so we may need to consider the approaches to the crossing in the Considerations section.

 

Will Staats said culvert headers should be included in the recommendations, with a reference back to the BMP manual (Cullen). Emily will add.

 

The discussion about digging culverts into the stream bed was lively. Emily explained that her intension was not to recommend open bottom culverts, and NHTOA thinks the option is too expensive.

 

She suggested that the if we make the recommendation, that it be carefully worded so that there are option based on landowner objectives, such as “if your primary objective is aquatic organism passage, provide for a natural substrate when installing the culvert”.

 

Phil suggested recommending maintaining the natural stream bottom and then list the option that allow for this.

 

Phil pointed out that we must address culvert maintenance issues. Will G. asked if there were studies showing that smooth bottom culverts limit fish passage. Emily said there are. She and Karen will work out language and circulate it for comment.

 

Phil asked whether corrugated culverts can be left to fill with material naturally. Is a dredge and fill permit required to bury a culvert? Linda said the width of the stream drives the type of permit required. Rick asked if a stream requires a 12 inch culvert, should we use a larger culvert to allow for aquatic passage, assuming material will accumulate on the bottom. Emily said yes.

 

Linda added that dredging to bury the culvert is allowed as long as it is within the stream channel.

 

Someone asked if burying the culvert a viable option. Is it so cost prohibitive that no one will choose to do it? Will S. explained that it is necessary to scrape a spot out when installing a culvert anyway.

 

Mark explained that he has seen culvert maintenance run the gamut. Some accumulate sediment, rocks, twigs and woody material or nothing, but none are like a natural stream bed or would qualify as natural stream substrate.

 

Emily suggested putting the discussion on hold until they could look at more research. This would make wording the recommendation easier.

 

 

Riparian Areas

 

There was a suggestion to change the name of this section to Riparian Habitat. The group agreed.

 

Phil suggested making reference to forest management and forest operations throughout the section, so that it is clear the recommendations accompany other forestry activities. 

 

The reference to “protection of other public values” was deleted from paragraph four of the Issues section per the request of the NHTOA folks. They did not like the idea of pushing ideas on landowners like recreation and aesthetics. Towns may take the reference to protecting public values as a reason to use the book as a regulatory document. Karen said it is important to acknowledge that private lands provide a public benefit. Phil said it comes down to landowner objectives. He suggested substituting “other forest benefits” for public values. 

 

The term “buffer” was replaced with “zone” or “RMZ” in all contexts except when the discussion was regulatory. Although the term “zones” may also be interpreted as regulatory, Mark explained that that is standards language when discussing riparian areas, and should not be changed.

 

 

Emily explained that the NHTOA representatives objected to the recommended no-harvest zone. Will A. said the presentation of the no-harvest zone recommendation does not limit landowner choices. Jasen was concerned that the recommendation be picked up in town or easement language. Phil responded that landowners are often paid for maintaining a no-harvest zone as part of the easement terms.

 

Emily said it is important for the committee to understand landowner perspective on this issue. Landowners have many different objectives.

 

Mark said it is important to tell landowners and foresters about potential economic impacts of a no-harvest zone. It may constrict other management alternatives. Choosing a no harvest zone puts riparian management zone objectives first.

 

Karen noticed that there are no suggested changes to the table in the draft presented. Phil felt that we have acknowledged different landowner goals and objectives, such as white pine or spruce-fir management within a RMZ.

 

Mark noted that the white pine management discussion concerned harvesting in frozen conditions, not in the context of the RMZ.

 

Mariko noted that if the landowner wanted to have more large woody material and cavity trees in the brook or RMZ, they may want to take a more active role in encouraging that structure. There are many reasons to manage in the RMZ.

 

Bill L. suggested deleting the no harvest zone, as it depends on the conditions of the site.

 

Don reminded the group that this chapter makes recommendations for the specific objectives of water quality, stream flows and fish and wildlife habitat. If these objectives are not particular to your project then you will not use these recommendations.

 

Phil asked Mariko if there is scientific research to support a no harvest zone. She replied there is not. Phil asked how we should deal with this issue, because the no harvest zone is in the first edition. We cannot eliminate them.

 

Jasen asked why not. If there is no science to support the recommendation then it should be deleted.

 

Mark disagreed with Mariko and said that there is a scientific basis for their existence.

 

Will S. suggested that there are two ways to deal with the area closest to the stream: a no cut zone or management in that zone. It depends on landowner objectives.

 

Don felt that this nuance may be too difficult for landowners.

 

Will reminded people that, depending on the site, the no cut zone could be 200 feet. In others, none is appropriate.

 

Mark said the intent of the document is to provide something understandable, practical and useable. Recommendations should protect values and functions without unfairly burdening the landowner.

 

Geoff asked about listing a range for the no cut zone. Karen warned that if towns adopted the recommendation as an ordinance, they are apt to adopt the high end of the range.

 

Phil asked whether we have citations that support the minimum width. Mark replied that there are many studies on managed vs. unmanaged RMZs. The table is a synthesis of many different research papers. There is no paper that specifically states 25 feet and 50 feet.

 

Phil asked how best to say sometimes you will harvest in the zone and sometimes you will not. This needs to be clear.

 

Someone recommended a footnote that states something similar to, “No harvest zones are intended to do these things, but there are cases where other things can happen that are just as valid” or “Some values can be enhanced in these areas with management. Expand footnote number 2.

 

Phil asked whether to apply the footnote to “Recommended” also or just to “No Harvest Zone”.

 

Jasen asked to footnote both. It was also suggested that footnote 2 may need to become a consideration as well.

 

Karen said that we must remember that there is science behind the no harvest zone recommendation. We are not keeping it only because it is a vestige of the last edition.

 

In the Considerations section, Mark deleted some considerations that were duplicated in the Issues section. Phil reminded the group that the most important place to state things is Considerations and Recommendations unless they are just a restatement of the general issue.

 

Dick Weyrick suggested using “financial loss” or “financial trade-offs” instead of “economic loss” when discussing choices that may impact landowner finances. This change should be carried throughout the book.

 

Emily noted that bullet five under Considerations was added to accommodate the landowner objective to regenerate white pine or spruce-fir in the RMZ.

 

The last sentence in the Considerations section will be deleted. In the context of the bullet, regenerating white pine and spruce-fir is the management objective.

 

Referring to the last consideration, someone asked if riparian forests are more prone to natural disturbance than other forest types. Not really, though floodplain forests are prone to flooding. The group agreed to delete this bullet.

 

Phil asked if we should we add a consideration about species other than beaver that would require different habitat management in the RMZ.

 

Emily suggested wood turtles, and Bob suggested raptors.

 

Mark said there is no conflict between current recommendations and wood turtle needs.

 

Mariko said nesting birds may require a consideration. She also recommended not including the wintering bald eagle chapter in the chapter referrals.

 

There was an objection to maintaining 60-70% crown closure in the RMZ. Why is this recommended?  If the goal is cover, perhaps we can make a structural recommendation.

 

Bill L. said that 60% to 70% crown closure is full stocking and full shade.

 

Mark said that the numbers are related to full stocking and full shade. Many states refer to this range of crown closure in their recommendations because it protects a full suite of values.

 

Emily suggested that this recommendation be cited so people know that there is science behind it.

 

Jasen asked if this recommendation could mean a de facto no harvest zone for those who have this crown closure already. Can these landowners do any management in the RMZ?

 

Bill L. said we should allow even-aged management options as well, provided that the stand regenerates quickly.

 

Emily said that if we are listing best practices, than we should list this level of crown closure to protect the functions and values of the RMZ.  Perhaps if the crown closure is not there, we should not harvest to allow the forest to get to this point. We should be discussing options for landowners who already have this level of crown closure.

 

Mariko reminded everyone that no one vertebrate or organism that uses RMZs at the same time in the same way. We cannot have a uniform RMZ and should not be encouraging it.

 

Mark said the intent is to have a lighter touch in the RMZ than what you would use on the rest of the landscape. We need a clear alternative then that accomplishes the same outcome.

 

The group agreed that we need to present options. Will A. said the scientists present have not arrived at a consensus. We should define three or four options, and have Karen work on it.

 

Don asked about selective cutting or single tree cutting in the RMZ. Bill L. responded that single tree selection is limiting. Carefully operated even-aged management that regenerates quickly is a good option. Karen will work on the draft language and send to Jasen, Bill, Will, Mark and Don.

 

Will S. also noted that there is similar language regarding crown closure in the deer wintering areas section.

 

Karen will work on more specific management recommendations for regenerating white pine and spruce-fir in the RMZ.

 

Wetlands

The Wetlands section is mostly complete. Linda asked that we use a different term than “wetlands management zone” to replace “buffer” since no one knows what it is. She suggested calling them “upland areas adjacent to the wetland”.

 

Other feedback on this section should be directed to Karen.

 

 

Revision of vernal pools

 

Emily brought the Vernal Pools section back for a second review. She explained that it had been through heavy revisions. Jessica Veysey had re-written the section, and it has been reviewed by Matt, Emily, and Kim Babbitt at UNH. They tried to sort the recommendations into categories, giving the ideal list of options for landowners whose primary goal was vernal pool management first. They listed other options for landowners who had other objectives as their primary goal.

 

Will S. said it was a great and comprehensive document, but still really long.

 

Bill L. said that the limitations on disturbance and harvesting are so great that the area would have to be devoted to vernal pool management. Matt explained that the intent with the second draft is to list options. If vernal pools and their species are the main objectives, then there are appropriate options listed, but if there are other primary objectives, other options are presented.

 

Will S. said he did not understand the options. He also suggested that the use of forestry terms in the chapter be closely looked at to be certain they are used correctly.

 

Matt T. responded that there is a huge range of flexibility in the recommendations to address timber harvesting with regards to vernal pools.

 

Karen said the piece is so thorough that the intent (to present options) is not clear. She has listened to UNH scientists speak about vernal pools. They seem to believe that harvesting is possible, but that message is lost in this document.

 

Emily pointed out that defined ranges make people think no management is possible but that is not true. Can we present the information differently to avoid this misconception?

 

Will S. added that adding the acreages would be helpful.

 

Will A. said that vernal pools occur so commonly, that the recommendations seem really onerous. The areas left for harvesting are a lot less than you would think.

 

Bill L. expressed concern over the last paragraph in the Core-Habitat Zone section. The limitations seemed severe.

 

Dave Tellman explained that on his 950 acres, they have one official vernal pool where they would apply these recommendations.

 

Mark calculated that a 950 foot radius around a vernal pool equals 21 acres.

 

Don suggested that landowners will not want to make provisions for vernal pools because it seems too difficult. Options should be practicable so that people will use it.

 

Geoff noted that McCabe Forest in Antrim has many vernal pools. There was a harvest in 1984 and 1985. If this document informed that job, perhaps none of that harvest would have been possible.

 

Mark questioned the discussion of water quality and vernal pools. The papers cited were looking at buffers in areas where the land is a lot less forested than the northeast. If recommendations are based on these studies, it may be an over-conservative position. Are the recommendations appropriate where land use around the vernal pools is forest?

 

Mark questioned the recommendations in the Landscape-Habitat Zone section. The recommendation to maintain forest cover is not necessary because we are not considering conversion. Emily questioned whether the landscape perspective was necessary at all.

 

Will S. asked whether the natural history discussion was necessary. Eliminating it could shorten the section.

 

Karen said this piece does not really address NH concerns or needs. She suggested the committee take over the next revision, rather than return it to the author.

 

Mark questioned the focus on water quality. The research and recommendations seem to be for an agricultural landscape and not a forested one.

 

Matt said he will try to address some of these issues. The literature supports the recommendations, and buffer widths are well documented. Karen asked whether water quality is an issue in NH vernal pools. It is not clear.

 

Susan spoke of a vernal pool workshop in a managed area, and the forester did address vernal pool management. Do we need to address the management zone and landscape zone? Perhaps these sections can be eliminated.

 

Emily responded that vernal pools do not function as vernal pools if you do not consider the management zone. Harvesting is okay but there are things that people can do to protect the pools.

 

Don suggested keeping the options as simple as possible. Can we identify a few key points?

 

Bob asked about the recommendation to protect key habitat features, such as small mammal burrows in adjacent upland habitat. That seems really specific.

 

Matt said it is important but perhaps we can talk about minimizing disturbance to the substrate during the timber harvest in a better way.

 

Mark suggested adding a recommendation to smooth out ruts that happen in and around vernal pools. Sometimes ruts happen.

 

Linda pointed out that the term “buffer” is used frequently in this section.

 

Matt will work on the revision to this section.

 

Jasen asked whether to send comments to Karen or Matt. Comments should be sent to both. Matt will be revising, and Karen will provide suggestions.

 

Permanent Openings

 

This is the first time this section was review by the committee. Matt explained that he had previous version, making more suggestions for creating openings and how to make them more beneficial to wildlife.

 

Bill L. asked if he could be more specific about opening size. Matt agreed that he would address this. He will speak with Mariko, who addressed it in temporary openings.

 

Under Considerations bullet 5, the subjected seemed to be temporary rather than permanent openings. Matt explained his intention of encouraging people to consider openings for the first time by including it in a timber sale. Phil said the distinction between stumping and not stumping the opening (permanent versus temporary) must be clear. Perhaps use headings to separate the discussion. Matt agreed to sort this out.

 

Geoff said you can use periodic cuts to keep 3-5% of land open. Phil said if that is the goal then the reference would be to temporary openings.

 

Emily advised not using the term “rotation” in the discussion of permanent openings.

 

Dick wondered why fire is not even mentioned as a means to maintain permanent openings. Matt said he removed it but will add it back in. Karen suggested referencing the Pine Barrens section.

 

Will S. said there was a study in WMNF. It discussed the value of letting openings regenerate naturally rather than seeding. He will send the citation to Matt.

 

Phil asked whether he discussed when to mow. The chapter should address mowing after nesting season.

 

Under the first bullet in Recommendations, Emily asked to take out “regional” in “NH Fish and Game Regional Wildlife Biologist”.

 

Someone suggested adding a caution to use an appropriate seed mix. Susan added that there is a list of appropriate seeds but not a source for ordering them.

 

Emily asked whether using hinge cuts to create an opening was appropriate for permanent openings. Maintaining the opening would be difficult.  Matt will look into this and may move it to the temporary openings chapter.

 

 

Editing the entire document

 

Karen discussed her progress on the draft of GFGS.

 

She has made edits to over 1/3 of the chapters and put them on the wiki. She explained that she is trying to stay true to what people wrote but clean up and simplify the language.

 

She is using the minutes as a guide to the decisions made about revisions. There is a lot of editing and style work yet to be done. She is creating a style sheet check to meet with the editor and have a discussion. She asked the committee to ignore small style inconsistencies because she is aware of them and they will be addressed.

 

There are some issues that she will need to resolve with the committee. She would like consensus on cross references and the order of the chapters mentioned.

 

Since some sections are heavily cited (in text) and others have end of section references, she suggested calling the section “references” instead of “literature cited”. The committee agreed.

 

She asked about web citations in the printed text. URLs change quickly.  Since most people use search engines, she would like to avoid including URLs in the printed document.

 

Emily said she would simply go to the online GFGS to follow the link in that document rather than use a search engine.

 

Phil said web reference should not be included in the printed text. We should direct people to the online publication. The group agreed.

 

The committee members at the meeting all received a hard copy of the chapters Karen had edited to date. She asked that folks direct their comments back to her, and that authors pay careful attention to their sections.

 

Phil suggested one more steering committee meeting before the draft document goes public. We must push to get the document out there.

 

Karen said there is a GSD SAF workshop on September 18. She may ask for time at that meeting to gather feedback from foresters.

 

At the August meeting, the committee will review the following:

 

§         Introductory material

§         Forest management planning

§         Rare wildlife

§         Vernal pools

 

Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2009 9 am-2:30 pm

 

The meeting adjourned at 2:37 pm.

 

Notes submitted by Kristina Ferrare.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.