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March 12, 2009 Minutes

Page history last edited by Kristina Ferrare 12 years, 7 months ago

Good Forestry in the Granite State

Steering Committee Meeting

March 12, 2009


Conservation Center, Concord, NH



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, Ken Desmarais, NH Division of Forests and Lands, Chuck Hersey, UNH Cooperative Extension, Geoff Jones, Don Kent, NH Natural Heritage Bureau, Bill Leak, USFS Northeastern Research Station, Rick Lessard, NH Timber Harvesting Council, Chris Mattrick, USFS WMNF, Will Staats, NH Fish and Game, Matt Tarr, UNH Cooperative Extension, Dave Tellman, NH Tree Farmer, Dick Weyrick, Granite State Division SAF, Mariko Yamasaki, USFS Northeastern Research Station, Mark Zankel, TNC



Welcome and Introductions

Phil Bryce convened the meeting at 9:05 am. It began with brief introductions.


Phil explained that we would review as many chapters as possible this morning and spend part of the afternoon discussing the public listening sessions. He wants to discuss the meaning of the feedback and how we will use this information.


Approval of January 22, 2009 Minutes

Chris Mattrick made a motion to accept the January 22 minutes. Susan Cox seconded the motion. The minutes passed with no amendments.


Steering Committee Review of Chapters: 

Chuck Hersey, chair of the Timber Quality and Flow Technical Team lead the discussion.


Section 5.1 Regeneration 

He explained that the team renamed the section to “Silviculture” as the chapter deals with regeneration and intermediate treatments. The basic structure of the first edition chapter 5 was left intact. They added more detail on site capability categories and really thought about when trees become mature. They added guideposts for different species and financial maturity. Chuck wondered if this information is too specific and how to present this information so that it is useful without dictating a goal that becomes regulatory. Seed sources are discussed in the managing for high-quality trees section. The team decided to put silvicultural clearcutting into the regeneration section.

Chuck asked the committee if that was an appropriate choice.


Phil questioned the concept of financial maturity verses biological maturity. He asked if biological maturity discussed. Biological maturity is discussed in the section on managing for high-quality trees. Karen suggested including both concepts in the chart to compare and contrast because people don’t always manage for timber. 


Mark Zankel pointed out that biological maturity is measured in different units: years not DBH. Mark also asked if a reference to financial maturity or biological maturity and regeneration conflicts with what we are saying on old growth. Phil says the nature of this guide is to present several options that very well may conflict. Always return to landowner goals.


Susan Cox asked whether we would address conflicting recommendations in the introduction. The group confirmed that yes, it would. Emily emphasized that maybe this idea of conflicting recommendations may need to be stressed throughout the text, not only in the introduction.


Mariko asked Chuck to add aspen to the tables in section 5.1 Regeneration.


Ken Desmarais asked if the discussion of timber flow implies that the landowner has financial goals. Karen responded that timber flow does imply financial goals, but silviculture does not. Chris Mattrick said that we should not suggest that biological maturity means you need to regenerate the stand. A cross-walk or cross reference to returning to old growth and landowner goals would be good ideas in this section.


Phil asked if the focus of the chapter is on growing timber and economic returns. Karen said that silviculture is a tool to achieve landowner goals, and we should avoid the implication that silviculture is for economic returns only.


Ken expressed concern that the point may be lost if we write this chapter too generally. Landowners interested in light touch forestry or old growth management may not read this chapter, because of a perception that it does not address their goals.


Emily said landowners need to understand that regenerating the stand can achieve a large number of goals. Reading this section needs connection to wildlife habitat, among other section. Landowners will need this introduction to how to do forestry.


Don reminded the group that the objective sets the expectation for the reader. Perhaps the Objective belongs up front because it defines expectations. The Issue section is very detailed as it stands and the Objective is not clearly stated.


Bob Bradbury suggested we may need an introductory section to the whole chapter. Some sections have a specific bent on economic goals. Regeneration should be discussed last not first, because there are many reasons why regenerating the stand may be appropriate. Dick Weyrick agreed that and introduction would be helpful.


Susan Cox agreed that this section is most important, but the title should not be silviculture. Introductory information could explain silviculture, but the technical team should come up with a different title for the chapter itself.


Karen suggested that the soils discussion refer to the Web Soil Survey (a web site with soils information). 


Chris Mattrick suggested that a more explicit definition of simple regeneration versus advanced regeneration would be helpful for less experienced landowners.


Geoff Jones questioned the thought of discussing clearcutting along with other regeneration harvest methods. He suggested keeping it separate because it is controversial and political. We need to clearly defend this practice and keeping the discussion separate is helpful.


Phil said the question is whether we have moved beyond the political situation of 12 years ago. By incorporating clearcutting as a regular tool, it makes it seem more acceptable, rather than giving it special attention by keeping it separate. 


Emily agreed that discussing clearcutting in the context of other regeneration practices legitimizes it as a tool. We could add precautionary language and perhaps the clearcutting section needs a little longer of a discussion than other practices.


Susan Cox said it is important to define the difference between clearcutting as a management tool and deforestation. These are very different and often confused. 


Don asked if clearcutting means the same thing as it did years ago. Yes, everyone agreed that it did. He recommended that we treat it as a legitimate silvicultural tool.


Phil suggested giving special attention to the clearcutting discussion but not separate it from other legitimate practices. 


Mark pointed out that there were a specific set of recommended practices in the first edition which relate to a specific set of environmental concerns that people have with large scale clearcuts. He would hope this does not disappear in the revised version. 


Phil intends to take the first edition and compare it to the revision to identify elements that may have gotten lost.


Geoff reminded the group that the first edition chapter was important to help distinguish a liquidation harvest in the North Country. If you need to defend clearcutting from a silvicultural standpoint, it is nice to have an inclusive chapter to pull out and use.


Matt Tarr said that we can defend the practice in the existing revision format by focusing on when this practice is appropriate and suitable based on landowner goals.


Emily stated that this may also be an opportunity to produce a separate UNHCE publication on clearcutting.


Mariko referred to the recommended practices section in the old version. She noted that several bullets could apply to any practice. Mark clarified that he was speaking specifically of bullets following the statement “Clearcuts should be avoided in the following areas”.


Chris Mattrick agreed that clearcutting should be discussed in the context of other regeneration practices. As long as we keep giving it special attention, clearcutting will continue to be a difficult issue. We as a profession should discuss it as an appropriate management tool. 


Will Staats asked why patch cuts are not listed as a practice. Patch cuts are discussed later in the chapter and so should be listed as a practice. 


Mark asked if natural disturbance silviculture could be moved above high-grading in the list of practices. Karen added that she would like to see a section of unacceptable harvesting practices. We should not be recommending high-grading as a practice. 


Karen pointed out that the description of diameter limit cutting is qualified nicely. Properly done, diameter limit cutting may not be an unacceptable practice. Will Staats agreed that the practice should be carefully qualified. Ken also agreed that with proper constraints, diameter limit cutting is not an unacceptable practice.


Geoff recommended referring to Nory Parr’s article on diameter-limit cutting. Karen will look for it.


Emily suggested that diameter limit cutting may warrant more discussion/description than the other practices because a landowner may not understand what it is. Phil added that it is appropriate to explain that it is often done with high-grading. 


Ken offered to have Will Guinn look at the piece and make suggestions.


Bob Bradbury asked if diameter limit cutting could be mentioned twice – both in the context of an acceptable and unacceptable practice.


Susan added that it would be discussed and qualified as a legitimate practice, and the explanation would be different in the context of unacceptable practices. 


Mark noted that each practice in the list has a sentence explaining why a landowner might use the practice – with the exception of diameter limit cutting. The reason why it is used is because it is easy to carry out on the ground. He recommended adding this sentence to the diameter limit cutting discussion.


Rick Lessard noted that this was a very complex chapter. He asked the intent, wondering if the objective was to create foresters from a non-forester audience. He added that we should touch on the high points and give the landowner the tools to have a dialogue with their forester. There seemed to be too many details included in this chapter.


Phil said we need to ask ourselves if this provides an adequate platform for professionals to speak to landowners about practices. It will give professionals the standing and credibility to have educated discussions with a landowner.


Matt added that some of the detail did seem like more information than necessary. The chapter read like a silvicultural guide. Landowners do need to understand what it means when their foresters make a prescription but perhaps in not as much detail. 


Phil responded that other chapters have added a great deal of detail to the discussion.


Chuck agreed that the technical team has added a lot to the first edition chapter. He said he hoped to get a better sense of what the committee was looking for at this meeting.


Susan Cox explained that there had been a listening session comment at GSD SAF about stating at the beginning of the document how it is useful to different audiences - for example, “if you are a landowner, this is how you use this book”….etc. 


Don noted that it seems we are struggling with who the audience is such that we have made everyone part of the audience. Basically, we should be recommending that landowners work with a forestry professional.


Phil said we do agree that this is not a book to guide landowners on managing their woodlots independently.


Karen gave the technical team kudos a job well done. She said while this is not a full treatment of silviculture, they have addressed what is needed to have discussions with landowners. 


Mark said there are a lot of chapters in the book that foresters already have knowledge and training in.


Karen responded that this book should be basic, and it should be used by foresters to learn something you don’t know or remind yourself of the basics. Professionals should be going above this book for professional developments, attending workshops, reading and additional readings, etc.


Will Staats agreed that the technical team did a great job. He suggested that they add advantages or disadvantages for each silvicultural system.


Bob asked if this publication is already twice as long as the first edition. Phil responded that we anticipated a bigger document.


Dave Tellman reminded the group that twelve years ago, the committee had exactly the same issues and problems defining audience. We are doing well and moving in the right direction. Yes, some areas have too much detail, but that will be addressed at the end at the editorial process.


Geoff wanted to be sure we differentiate silvicultural clearcutting from liquidation or commercial clearcutting. 


Emily suggested moving the discussion to considerations and recommendations. She noted that she would also like to see the clearcutting recommendations from the first edition moved into the revised recommendations. 


Mark suggested that table showing “Species” and “Harvest Method” should say “Species to be regenerated”. 


Under considerations, Chris Mattrick suggest being more specific about non-commercial species competition. Referring to ferns as a broad group is too much of a generalization. He suggested specifying “bracken fern and hay-scented fern” or “some fern species” and adding a reference to invasive species.


Also under considerations, Will Staats suggested qualifying “predation” as “seed predation”. Many people don’t think of predation as seed predation.


Emily thought one additional consideration may be that choosing practices for high grade timber or choosing practices for wildlife will influence decision making. Then we should cross reference other chapters. Mariko pointed out that these two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


Mark pointed out that the under recommended practices the table showing “Species” and “Special Feature” is somewhat duplicative of a previous table. One could be deleted.


We then moved the discussion to section 5.2 Forest Structure.


Chuck explained that the team expanded the forest structure to include two-aged stands, as well as even-aged and uneven-aged stands. They also emphasized group cuts rather than individual tree selection.


Don referred to the issue statement and the phrase “intangible” benefits. He suggested defining those benefits better in the issue statement.  Emily agreed, because we have chapters on these “intangibles” so mentioning them here and cross-referencing other chapters makes sense.


Geoff asked if age classes are defined as 20 years or more between groups. He suggested clarifying that in the text.


Phil asked about the table under even-aged management showing tree size and recommended percentage of acres. That table is very important with respect to management plans for easements. What is the scale of ownership at which these recommendations are appropriate? Can it be scaled down to address smaller ownerships? 


Phil suggested stating that the goals work at a landscape level and for larger ownerships, as do the tree diameters. 


Chris asked about the last bullet under even-aged management concerning whole tree harvesting. He asked whether we should discuss appropriate soil types when talking about whole tree harvesting,


Karen agreed it would be appropriate to refer to soil types here. Bob asked whether soil types would be handled in logging systems. Karen explained it would be given full treatment in the Soils chapter. 


Bill Leak cautioned to be careful discussing whole tree harvesting since there is no definitive information about it with respect to soils in the literature.


Rick asked what we consider to be whole tree harvesting. He suggested that most harvesting practices these days can be considered whole tree harvesting since trees are delimbed away from the fell spot. 


Geoff suggested that whole tree harvests could be qualified based on how much volume is removed and at what frequency.


Chris Mattrick said that on the White MountainNational Forest, whole tree harvesting is a biomass harvest where the entire tree is removed from the site.


Phil pointed out that 10 years ago a biomass harvest simply meant chips were removed from the site. How do we make that distinction?


Chuck suggested that defining whole tree harvesting is a Soils and Harvesting Systems issue and Chuck would refer to those chapters when discussing it.


Rick stated that he was not comfortable saying whole tree harvesting depletes soils as much as biomass harvesting – since in many cases where trees are delimbed away from the felled spot, tops are returned to the forest.


Will Staats pointed out that the first bullet regarding wildlife under Recommended Practices and uneven-aged management should be included under even-aged management as well. 


Phil asked how we are handling cross-referencing. As readers move through topics there are a lot of other topics that they should want the individual to read as well. Do we say in the introduction that a professional can help integrate all the pieces of the book? That addresses the cross-referencing issue up front. We can also still include the cross-references like the first edition. 


Mariko referred to the Recommended Practices under even-aged management. The paragraph beginning, “Lower the percents suggested in the above table in seedling/sampling stands…” would be more accurate as “Change the percents” as some wildlife species need a higher percentage and some a lower.


Mark asked what is a true uneven-aged condition - 3 or more age classes? What are we recommending in the uneven-aged management section? Bob stated that to convert a stand you really have to have a good inventory and mark carefully. It is difficult.


Phil pointed out that the stand is actually uneven-sized for awhile not uneven-aged. He asked if need to discuss that. Bob suggested it be another section. Phil thought we should state it is very difficult. Ken agreed. 


Ken asked the group consider the second bullet under uneven-aged management. It does not always favor shade tolerant species, but quite a range. There is some research showing that the species vary depending on the size of the group removed. 


Karen suggested the team define single tree selection vs. group selection.



Section 5.3 Managing for High Quality Trees 

Chris Mattrick asked if the table is better suited to the appendix. Karen said there are some key things in the table. Phil asked if foresters would understand the table’s contents and if they would want the table right in front of them. Susan suggested that a graph may make better impact in the body of the text. Chris agreed that a visual display would be helpful. Geoff suggested that use cords be used as a unit of measure, rather than cu ft/ac/year.


Chuck said the table was provided as a reference. Phil pointed out that this section is about managing for high quality trees. Chuck agreed that it maybe be better placed elsewhere.


Phil suggested bullet points rather than a table. Bob asked if perhaps the table belonged in the wood products section. Phil thought the table required more explanation in the text. He asked whether there are there other techniques used to enhance timber quality.


Chuck explained that the Growth and Yield and Wood Products sections fill in some missing information from the first edition. The remaining sections are from the original edition.


Phil asked if the wood products section belongs in the book as this is supposed to be an operation guide.


Emily pointed out there are a lot of planning discussions in this book. Susan suggested that the wood products discussion belongs before timber quality.


Phil said it may be important to explain how the industry works because it has a direct influence on how other things happen: procurement, stumpage, the players, the process. The Logging Systems technical team confirmed that they have not discussed this.


Karen added that we received an email from a consulting forester saying we needed to include information on how to sell trees. Rick replied that they have dealt with this somewhat in the harvesting systems chapter. Phil suggested reviewing the information in the harvesting systems chapter.


Geoff agreed that there should be a description of timber sales and what options are for landowners. He suggested discussing niche marketing and high value products such as veneer.


Phil said this book will introduce the professionals to the basics.


Will Abbott asked if the timber sale information has been written anywhere already. Karen said that UNH Cooperative Extension has a timber sale contract publication. Dave Tellman suggested discussing the tax implications and other complex issues of a timber sale, and said it would preferable to refer readers to a good reference.


Phil agreed that this is an important recommendation.



Stand Development: Tree Development

Chuck explained that the technical team saw this section as an educational piece, and perhaps it needs to be pared down. Phil suggested it be incorporated into stand densities. Chuck agreed.


The logic behind the discussion is the assumption that the landowner is managing for high quality trees. The first two paragraphs talk about how to achieve this goal. Chuck thought perhaps those two paragraphs could be combined into one. The stand density and uneven-aged management discussion is the same as the first edition.


They included a reference to financial maturity, discussed risk, and included the formula for compound interest.


Will Staats asked whether some of the paragraphs could be replaces with bullet lists. Yes that may work.


Chuck thought that the discussion on pre-commercial treatments could be expanded. Karen suggested describing explicitly what a crop tree is, although the definition is implied.


Phil asked how much of pre-commercial treatments are duplicative of other sections. Chuck responded that while some material is repeated, the focus is on thinning/intermediate treatments.


Phil asked if there was any published information on the value of pre-commercial treatments. Chuck said according to Bill’s work, do a little as possible and avoid carrying the cost forward. Whether it is worth it in the long run depends.


Karen suggested firewood thinning as a good way to do pre-commercial thinning. There are ways to get this done with out the perception of big cost to the landowner. Phil asked if there numbers of percentage improvement (to the stand? To the value of the crop trees?) with pre-commercial thinning. Do we need to include the numbers? Karen said it is not necessary to include percentages.


Low Density White Pine Management is a new section. Phil asked when a landowner would choose this management technique.


Chuck asked Ken if pruning happens on the landscape. Ken said it is difficult to prune 1.5 logs, low density white pine management really doesn’t work without pruning. Ken suggested leaving the discussion in the document, because it is a legitimate practice but maybe not a recommended one.


Dick thought it worth noting that with any low density management the appearance of the stand changes drastically.


Phil asked what the next step in management would be. Chuck said basically a shelterwood. Phil noted that a shelterwood would regenerate a significant amount of other vegetation and perhaps this should be cross referenced with the regeneration discussion.


Dave Tellman asked about the white pine weevil and low density management. Chuck explained that the pines are already tall enough and have a butt log. We are managing for that high-quality butt log and the condition of the top does not matter.


Phil asked about the Recommended Practices for uneven-aged management. Where should he go next at the end of the section?  Karen responded that this is a stand density chapter. When you reach desired stand density that is your decision point.



Crop Tree Management

Chuck explained their approach was to inform that every tree is not a crop trees. The management focus is on trees able to increase in value in the long term.


Chuck asked if the steering committee wanted stocking charts in there. Geoff suggested keeping the text simple. Talk about crown spacing and the spacing of trees in the canopy. Stocking information, if included, should go into the appendix. 

Phil asked if crop tree management recommendations are the same for low density or other stands. What are we recommending?


Geoff suggested referencing an article on the biology of epicormic branching. He will find the reference for Chuck.


Phil noted that it is important to note that if you hire people to prune, it is unlikely that you will get a payoff from this practice.



Controlling Logging Damage

Chuck asked if this information should be included in the Timber Harvesting Systems chapter. Chris Mattrick asked if it would be appropriate for the forest health section.


The group agreed to move this out of the timber harvesting/flow chapter and decide where it fits best later. Much of the group agreed that it fit best with the discussion of timber harvesting systems.


Will Staats referred to Considerations bullet three.  He asked what prescriptions would be used during seasons when bark is loose. He suggested adding a sentence advising don’t do a sensitive harvest during a sensitive time of year.


The Forest Health Section 5.6 does not exist anymore in chapter 5 and will be moved to its own chapter in the revised document.



Pine Barrens Chapter

Jeff Lougee of the TNC North Conway office works at Ossipee Pine Barrens. He wrote the pine barrens draft and led the discussion.


Jeff explained that he followed the formatting of other chapters while preparing this draft. His work focuses specifically on New Hampshire pine barrens. New Hampshire pine barrens are less than 10% of land mass. These ecosystems require fire for disturbance. Since this is frequently not an option in New Hampshire, what are the management options?


Karen referred to bullet six under Recommended Practices. When limiting the percent disturbance to no more than 35% per year, what scale is the scale of the landscape? Phil asked whether there is landscape context where landowners need to look beyond their borders before they make a management decisions. Jeff said that yes that recommendation is written from a landscape perspective. 35% comes from entomologists. More than a 35% disturbance negatively impacts insect communities. Karen responded that unless we say otherwise people will consider only their ownership. We should state that landowners may want to be conservative if they don’t know what their neighbor is doing.


Emily suggested saying do not disturb adjacent areas in consecutive years.


Mariko suggested stating specifically the names of fire intolerant species. Not everyone would know what those are and some examples would help.


Phil said basically the most critical Recommended Practice should maintain the pine barrens and perhaps define characteristics that should be maintained. He asked if we should add plant species to the objective statement. Don confirmed that there are uncommon plant species associated with pine barrens. Matt suggested saying maintain the pine barren as a natural community.


Someone suggested defining the term “senescent”. Karen asked why serotiny is not discussed. Jeff explained that our cones are not serotinous. Karen responded that it needs to be addressed because people think that is why fire is important to the ecosystem.


Mariko noted that whip-poor-wills and towhees do not depend on pine barren habitat exclusively. She also asked about the Recommended Practices regarding litter for shrub and ground nesting birds. What is the source of that information? Ground nesting birds need litter on the ground. Yes, whip-poor-wills are ground nesting birds. They are not, however, a pine barren obligate. Don suggested finding some examples of birds that are obligates to give as examples.


Bill Leak asked if there is something unique about pitch pine and water resources. Jeff said no, but it is important to maintain forest cover. Also important to water resources is avoid spilling contaminants during forestry activities. Don said the message is keep it in forest cover.


Phil asked if we really want to present the anti-development (land conversion?) message here. Susan Cox responded that Matt’s comment about maintaining natural communities gets to that point.


Will Abbott added that the conversion message is addressed elsewhere in the document.


Geoff suggested adding a recommendations or consideration that states that spills are more dangerous to this ecosystem.


Phil responded that we should raise the profile of the groundwater piece and stress spillage. He asked if biodegradable lubricants have caught on yet, and Rick responded no.


Phil said he needed to know more about its use from loggers before recommending its use. Karen pointed out that biodegradable lubricants are mentioned in water resources.


Geoff asked about the presence of vernal pools and surface waters with respect to job layout. Is this a concern? How does this concern affect forestry practices?  


He asked about the practice of burying debris underground, anaerobic decomposition and the resulting hydrocarbons. He asked if we should recommend leaving debris above ground for aerobic decomposition and suggested we need a reference for this.


Dick said he was surprised that prescribed burning is not discussed more. Jeff thought it wasn’t practical for most managers to do. The committee will discuss how much emphasis to give prescribed burning. It is not a practice to take lightly.


Don suggested that it be discussed that way, as an important but difficult practice.


Phil suggested it be discussed as an issue. State that it has been used successfully but also talk about the downsides to it.


Bill Leak asked if regenerating pine barrens is hard to do mechanically. Jeff said yes. Fire is really important to regenerating that cover type.


Matt said we should temper the discussion of prescribed fire by qualifying that it is professionally done in consultation with local fire departments. Dick offered that it is also closely tied in with the permitting process. Don said we need to be absolutely clear that this practice must be done with professionals. Phil said it is against the law otherwise. Mark said we do not need to include a list of how to burn, only refer the audience to a professional.


Karen noted that there were a few comments on prescribed fire during the GSD SAF listening session. We can consider adding a chapter of prescribed fire during the discussion of comments.


Jeff agreed to make revisions to the Pine Barrens chapter and return to present it to the committee.


The discussion of Forest Health and Maple Sugaring drafts was postponed in the interest of time.


Public Listening Sessions

Phil asked members who attended public listening sessions to give their impressions.


Emily participated in the Farm and Forest session. She thought it was very positive and thoughtful. She spoke with landowners and foresters.

Mariko participated in GSD SAF.  Her group wanted a practical document, and was concerned about specific numbers being used and not professional discretion applied on the ground. The overall sense was positive. They also suggested that the steps of getting from tree to product were important to include.


Bill participated in GSD SAF. His group didn’t want anything very prescriptive.

Geoff walked through many groups at GSD SAF and listened and reported that people seemed engaged and interested.


Dick participated in GSD SAF. His group was happy to have an opportunity to discuss what they think. There were many questions about things we talked discuss in steering committee meetings. No big issues were expressed, but group wanted to see silviculture as a term in the book.


Dave Tellman participates in the Farm and Forest session. He talked at length with one aspiring tree farmer who was fascinated with GFGS and had not seen the original document.


Chris Mattrick participated in GSD SAF. He had four students or recent graduates with little or no exposure to the document in his group. They were very interested in an ecological approach to forestry.


Karen participated in the Farm and Forest session and heard a lot of interest in the business of doing management.


Kristina attended both Farm and Forest and GSD SAF. She heard concerns about presenting the basics of how to have a timber sale and the progression of adding value to a log at both sessions. She also reported on a variety of questions about ecosystem services and how much we should say about this developing market.


Following this discussion, Phil showed the presentation he gave at GSD SAF. The committee then broke out into three groups to review the comments from the GSD SAF listening session. Each group was directed to note the three top suggestions for the comments they reviewed.


Group 1 considered Question 1.

Regarding the Table of Contents: Did we get topics right and grouped in a logical way?     What topics are missing? Are there some that we shouldn’t include?


The top recommendations were:


  1. soils and soil related issues such as compaction, nutrient depletion due to whole tree/biomass harvesting a big concern;
  2. many wanted to see prescribed fire discussed as a management tool;
  3. whole tree harvesting and its impacts should be discussed.


Group 2 considered Question 2.

We plan to include new topics. What do you think of them and what should we say about them?  Refer to starred items on the table of contents for topics, but here are some examples:

§         Ecosystem service

§         Carbon

§         Invasives

§         Forest stewardship planning

§         Expanded silviculture section

§         Buffers: We are toying with the idea of including a summary about buffers. Should we and what should we say?


The top recommendations were:

  1. public should understand the benefits associated with NH being dominated by forest
  2. ecosystem services is an emerging concern and we need to address it in the document. This could be linked to a “think globally and act locally” message.
  3. carbon also needs to be addressed in the document


Geoff added that with regard to buffers, participants hoped that the committee would discuss the intent of the buffer and hope that common sense would prevail on the ground. He added that people expressed an interest in including shoreline protection regulations as well.


Don Kent added that his group felt strongly that numbers, such as buffer widths, should not be printed in the document unless they are already statutory.


Group 3 considered question 3, 4, & 5.


Question 3: We hope that this is a useful book for you, but have learned that many foresters don’t use it. What would make this a more useful resource for you? What forest management related topics do you have trouble finding information about that we might include in Good Forestry?


The top recommendations were:

  1. continuous outreach about this document is important. Outreach should be repeated beyond the rollout period
  2. several differing opinions about the format of the document leads the group to recommend that the final document should exist in several different formats


Question 4: What do you want us to include for your landowners? What do you want landowners to know and understand about forests and forestry in NH?


The top recommendations were:

  1. discuss how to work with foresters and loggers
  2. discuss the difference between good forestry and bad forestry
  3. discuss the reasons people own land, tax implications, conservation easements, cost share, selling timber – the financial aspects. 


Don pointed out that there must be documentation that already exists about the financial aspects of owning land. Hopefully we could simplify and refer to existing work.


Question 5: What else is on your mind?


Top responses were:

  1. keep it simple
  2. not too technical 


The committee agreed to keep this public comment in mind and address these issues as they approached their respective work. Don suggested that we make it clear where the public can read about what we decide not to include or address from the public listening sessions.



Next Meetings 

The Steering Committee scheduled the following meetings through June 2009.



Date                                             Time                                 Location

Thursday, March 26, 2009       9 am - Noon                ConservationCenter

Tuesday, April 14, 2009           9 am - 3:30 pm           location TBD

Monday, May 11, 2009           9 am - 2:30 pm           ConservationCenter

Thursday, June 18, 2009          9 am - 3:30 pm           ConservationCenter



The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m. 

Notes submitted by Kristina Ferrare.

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