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March 26, 2009 Minutes

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

Good Forestry in the Granite State

Steering Committee Meeting

March 26, 2009

9 am Noon

Conservation Center, Concord, NH

 

Present:

Will Abbott, Forest Society, Karen Bennett, UNH Cooperative Extension, Bob Bradbury, Landvest, Phil Bryce, Fountains America, Susan Cox, USFS State and Private Forestry, Will Guinn for Ken Desmarais, NH Division of Forests and Lands, Geoff Jones, Private Forester, Don Kent, NH Natural Heritage Bureau, Bill Leak, USFS Northeastern Research Station, Kyle Lombard, NH Division of Forests and Lands, Chris Mattrick, USFS WMNF, Linda Magoon, NH DES, Will Staats, NH Fish and Game, Sarah Smith, UNH Cooperative Extension, Matt Tarr, UNH Cooperative Extension, Dave Tellman, NH Tree Farmer, Mariko Yamasaki, USFS Northeastern Research Station, Mark Zankel, TNC

 

Phil called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. We began with introductions.

 

Karen explained that we had six chapters to review and discuss today.

 

Forest Health

Kyle Lombard led the discussion of the revised draft. He explained that he tried to address each comment from the first review. 

 

Kyle removed the reference to honeybee health and the use of imidacloprid. He explained that there was no scientific support at this time. 

 

Someone had asked to remove the specific reference to imidacloprid. Kyle opted not to make this change. He explained that a systemic pesticide like imidacloprid administered through soil injections is the safest recommendation. If people contact chemical companies for advice, they will get recommendations to use other pesticides. Imidacloprid is the safest choice.

 

Phil asked if there were other references to pesticides and herbicides in the document.

 

Chris said the discussion of controlling invasives with pesticides is mentioned, but specific recommendations are beyond the scope of the book. 

 

Phil asked if we should state that the systemic approach with imidacloprid is recommended by the state. The group agreed we should state that. 

 

Bob Bradbury asked about the recommended practice of cutting beech trees early in the growing season after full leaf out when carbohydrates are the lowest, but when the ground is frozen to prevent root sprouts from dominating the regeneration. This is conflicting advice. 

 

Karen asked Bill Leak what we should recommend. Bill said the beech regeneration will happen no matter what the conditions. Susan noted that the first edition suggested logging in the winter.

 

Kyle said he heard a speaker say about 10% of beech in New England is resistant to disease, and we should keep those trees when possible.

 

Kyle said he believes that nectria will come anyway, so we should cut when the trees have low reserves and favor the resistant trees. 

 

Don asked if this is documented in the literature. Kyle said there is literature to support the change in recommended practice.

 

Bill suggested that the best recommendation is group, patch, and clear cuts.

 

Karen said a change of recommendation will be noticed, and we need to be prepared to discuss it. Phil said we should explain the change and let people make their choice. 

 

Will Staats suggested we cross reference the beech discussion with the wildlife (mast) chapter. 

 

New recommended practices regarding beech will be: 

 

  1. favor resistant beech
  2. cut when carbohydrate reserves are low
  3. remove unhealthy beech in group, patch or clearcuts 

 

Will S. asked about mast for bear populations. Karen said the first paragraph on page 119 of the first edition, addresses the mast issue. We should keep that paragraph.

 

Bill asked about Calisiopsis and whether he was linking that to white pine decline? Kyle responded no.

 

Bill also asked if the earlier draft included a discussion of skid roads and soil compaction. Yes, that discussion was in section 4.3. Most of the recommendations in that section came from ice storm work. 

 

Bill asked if we would discuss scarification and preparing the seed bed. Kyle said heavy equipment on the site may mean compaction but a simple chain dragged behind a skidder disturbs the soil enough. Karen said she cannot find that notion in the document. It is an important consideration. Be aware of the risk of soil compaction. Karen asked if Kyle could write a sentence to this effect. Heavy machinery for scarification may not be appropriate. Kyle agreed.

 

Susan pointed out that the soil compaction discussion speaks to logging damage and needs to either be cross referenced with logging damage or included in the logging damage section. Kyle responded that he feels soil compaction is a forest health issue. 

 

Phil asked whether we advise people appropriately about how to use cross referencing. Since there are likely to be several cross-references in many sections, people really need to understand what they have to read.

 

Mariko suggested we emphasize the critical related sections to each topic. For example, broken tree tops in the storm damage section are also important to wildlife.

 

Mark thought we need to explicitly say that natural disturbances sometimes create core wildlife habitat. Phil suggested that the issue statement contain the message not to rush decisions. There is a normal amount of damage that occurs as part of normal ecological processes. People must decide what is acceptable within their respective goals and objectives.

 

Karen thinks those notions belong in the considerations section.

 

Mark agreed but thought the statement seemed too vague. He said we should explicitly say sometimes important structural habitat is created as a result of natural disturbance.

 

Kyle will make this statement consideration number one under wind. Mark also said it follows that the recommended practice should be to maintain some damaged trees for wildlife.

 

Mark agreed with Susan about compaction being discussed in the logging damage section because it is a result of human process. Including the discussion with logging damage seems appropriate. Karen pointed out many dead and dying trees are caused by soil compaction and therefore belongs in the forest health section. 

 

Phil agreed with Mark. He asked when people will look for soil compaction. When their trees are sick, they will look first in Forest Health. The book is not about correcting things but preventing them in the first place. 

 

Mark conceded that if it stays in Forest Health it should have its own section. Kyle says he could expand it. Karen and Phil discouraged this.

 

Susan suggested that the reference to soil compaction should be up front in the logging damage piece.

 

Phil wondered what we recommend to people when there is a catastrophic event such as wind, ice or tornado. The recommended practice should be to contact the local county forester and check the UNH Cooperative Extension web site. This will be written as a Recommended Practice in both the wind and ice sections – Karen will take care of the repetition (if necessary) in editing.

 

Will Guinn pointed out that it sounds like we are alluding to bare ground operations as bad due to soil compaction risks. He asked if we could discuss appropriate soils for bare ground operations. 

 

Chris Mattrick said we only need to state that equipment type should be matched with soil type and time of year. Sarah Smith added that bigger machines don’t necessarily cause more compaction.

 

Will Guinn suggested talking about practices to mitigate compaction on bare ground. Don suggested adding a recommendation to address mitigation practices. 

 

Chris asked what context we will discuss soil compaction- soils, forest health, or logging damage. Phil responded all three.  Kyle said he’d work on the language so it does not discourage bare ground operations. 

 

The subject of soil compaction will be handled separately.

 

Will Staats asked if we should state that natural disturbances will always occur. Kyle said that he tried to make this point several times.

 

Someone suggested moving number 7 under ice damage Recommended Practices up into the Issues statement. People would then know immediately that need not rush into salvage operations. 

 

Mariko asked if there could be an additional consideration for Defoliators. Epidemic levels mean a significant food source is available for neotropical migrants. This increases the chances for reproductive success. Karen agreed that this should be added under Considerations.

 

Phil felt if people need to understand that natural controls are out there. For example, we could reference work on spruce budworm. 

 

Bob Bradbury thought we should mention Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This pest will be here eventually. Kyle said people should understand what the issues are in their area. Chris agreed it is worthwhile to mention Asian Longhorn Beatle (ALB) and EAB.

 

Karen suggested we point out that non-native wood borers more dangerous. Although this has already been addressed in the section, this would specify ELB and EAB.

 

Geoff asked if we needed to add a section about threats on the horizon. Susan thought it too much of a “moving target”. Kyle suggested we link to maps that change frequently. 

 

Susan suggested we reference the Forest Service Forest Health newsletter. The most up-to-date information is there. 

 

Geoff offered that a stand alone section raises awareness. 

 

Phil asked Kyle to consider a stand alone section. 

 

Susan suggested we be cautious about pointing out ALB and EAB because there could be other threats that we are not even aware of yet. Our message should be vigilance with monitoring. Karen will think about how to “call out” issues similar to ALB and EAB throughout the book. 

 

Kyle agreed to post his revisions on the wiki. Section x.4 will be brought back to the Steering Committee.

 

Invasive Plants 

This section had been revised. Chris Mattrick explained changes. 

 

Chris added the last bullet under Considerations, stating that deer overpopulation and browsing pressure may give invasive plants an advantage. People agreed this was appropriate. 

 

Chris reworded Consideration 3, which had recommended using local loggers. Karen asked how local is local – this is relative. Geoff offered that if you are working on a lot with invasives clean the equipment before you use it on an invasive free lot. The group wanted to strike last sentence of bullet 3.

 

Bill asked if we would discuss specifics on control measures. Chris asked how specific we should get about control measures. Phil asked what a professional should be thinking about. What is the stupidest or smartest thing they could do to take steps for invasive control. 

 

Bill explained that in Southern Vermont, if invasives exist on a woodlot, they avoid harvesting the lot. This is not a feasible solution.

 

Chris said that whole tree harvesting can spread invasives around the woodlot. Mark Zankel pointed out that it is the dragging not the whole tree harvesting system that can spread invasives.

 

Mark felt that there is not much to say about control mechanisms other than stating that there is mechanical control and herbicides. We can direct people to resources. It depends on several factors.

 

Phil suggested that we set expectations and state that most likely, you will get invasives.

 

Susan pointed out that there is management to control and eradicate invasives and there is management with invasives present. So the expectation is that you have invasives on your woodlot.

 

Chris said that choice comes back to the logging system.

Phil asked if we are asking how silviculture changes when you have invasives. Geoff added that it is a point of choice for harvesting systems.

 

Bill said he was not ready to say what silvicultural recommendations to make based on invasive infestations.

 

Will Staats asked about the last sentence introductory paragraph of Recommended Practices. He suggested we strike the sentence as it is unclear what it means. 

 

Don Kent said there is too much emphasis on prevention. Invasives are already present on many woodlots. We should have information about what to do with woody invasives, herbaceous invasives. We should be referring people to the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture. 

 

Phil agreed. He asked people should call first if they find invasives on your property.

 

Chris reiterated that there are not a lot of options when it comes to invasive control. Phil suggested contacting a professional.

 

Chris asked again how much detail we should include about control. Should we add a section in the appendix? Phil said that we need only to recommend a next step. We should recommend contacting the county forester or the Department of Agriculture.

 

Karen said we should be discussing management with invasives rather than control. Try different silvicultural techniques to see what works.

 

Phil said we should be clear that prevention, management and control are three separate steps.

 

Bill said landowners should consider what they want to regenerate (desirable species). Use a regeneration system that will regenerate something desirable.

 

Susan asked if we want categories to be grouped into prevention, management and control.

 

Will Staats asked if we want to add identification.  Phil said this is legitimate – what is the reference. It is already in the suggested references section.

 

Geoff said that disturbed areas are vulnerable for invasives. Seeding practices are important. Chris included this information under the heading “closeout and after”. 

 

Mark felt the entire invasives section is too long. He suggested we consider these changes: 

 

  • Distinguish between weedy and invasive species in the Issue section
  • Delete bullet 6 under Planning – determining whether harvest activities can take place concurrently with project activities
  • Delete bullet 9 under planning – using fire as a forest management tool
  • Reword bullet 8 under Planning - biomass or whole tree harvest to emphasize dragging as the risky practice
  • Delete bullet three under Materials – finding weed free sources of much and silt fencing
  • Under Equipment Cleaning combine bullet 2 and bullet 7.
  • Delete bullet 4 under Operation. It is redundant with equipment cleaning recs.
  • Delete bullet 9 under Operation – “Be on the lookout during project activities…”
  • Verify bullet 8 under Operation - soil disturbance as an invasive plant control strategies. Is this documented? Chris said he found that in the Wisconsin BMP guide for invasive plants.

 

 

Mark said using soil disturbance as an invasive control strategy seems risky. Follow up would be critical. Allowing invasives to grow to exhaust the seed supply also seems counterintuitive.

 

Will asked if the Wisconsin manual addresses silvicultural solutions. Are we going to make any recommendations for silvicultural practice?  Chris would check the BMP manual again, but Bill thinks there are not enough studies propose silvicultural solutions. 

 

Bill said deer and turkeys spread invasives too. So do humans. Perhaps we should state this under Considerations. There are many vectors of spread over and above logging equipment. These should be stated along with logging equipment. 

 

Chris will take any additional comments by phone or email. 

 

Seeps 

This is the second presentation of the Seeps chapter to the Steering Committee. Don Kent led the discussion. 

 

Mark suggested changing the word “detected” to “detectable” in the Issue statement.

 

Don asked the group if we wanted to keep the third bullet in Considerations, referring to man made seeps.

 

Don also pointed out bullet 3 under Recommended Practices. The bullet discusses the importance of maintaining a vegetated buffer around seeps. Matt asked if we could point to a specific buffer width/

 

Don said the range is enormous depending on many factors. Matt suggested giving examples so that people can put it into context. For example, direct harvesting near seeps under certain conditions can be okay. 

 

Karen said there are a number of types of seeps and buffers can range from 0 to hundreds of feet.

 

Phil suggested Considerations also include other management concerns such as keeping tops out of seeps.

 

Chris Mattrick suggested giving examples of how different practices may alter the community. Bob added that the Considerations should say that there are no statutory regulations protecting seeps.

 

 

Maple Sugaring  

Steve Roberge wrote the maple sugaring chapter. Karen presented it to the Steering Committee. 

 

This is chapter integrated information that Steve received from Geoff Jones. It is a brand-new section in GFGS under Non-Timber Forest Products. Will Guinn asked if Steve had the tapping policy for state lands. He will forward the policy to Steve for inclusion and suggests we talk to Bill Carpenter. 

 

Geoff suggested referencing Forest Stewardship Council recommendations on maple sugaring.

 

Under Tapping Guidelines, Bob suggested deleting the first sentence of the second paragraph explaining the traditional tapping guideline. Karen said that was fine, but we do need to make a note that tapping guidelines have changed. 

 

Chris suggested cross-referencing the chapter with forest health due to the ALB threat. Also, there is a potential soil damage issue if sap gathering is done with tractors and trucks and tanks. 

 

Karen referred to the Recommended Practice of maintaining diversity in the stand. Sugarmakers are trying to grow maples. What do we mean when we are telling people to maintain stand diversity?

 

Phil said there is work that shows hemlock growing with sugar maples is beneficial, but red squirrels chew lines. Coniferous borders around sugar bushes are also a problem for the same reason.

 

Will Guinn suggested striking both bullets from the Recommended Practices.  Karen will pass along information about squirrel damage and softwoods. 

 

Will Staats thought Steve should refer to Dave Brandt’s article about thinning maples and leaving material in the woods as a soil enhancement. The article appeared in Northern Woodlands.

 

 

Harvesting systems 

Sarah Smith presented the first draft of Choosing a Timer Harvesting System. 

 

Rick Lessard, Ken Desmarais, Don Quigley and Jack Bronnenberg all participated in the technical team. They wrote from the perspective of helping landowners make decisions about logging operations. The team wanted to keep it simple and avoid making specific recommendations about one system over another. The chapter was distributed to the timber harvesting council last week. She would expect some comment back from that group.

 

Sarah explained that they envisioned a page or two for a call-out box with terms and definitions specific to logging systems.

 

Phil asked if there was information in here that foresters and loggers can use that is more sophisticated than the basics. Sarah responded that this is written from the perspective of what the landowner needs to know to understand the harvest process. 

 

Geoff said it would be helpful to list pros and cons or strengths and weaknesses of various systems. That perspective could help people better understand the equipment mix.

 

Karen asked if there was still a plan to use a summary chart with the different systems.

 

Sarah said no. The nuances are difficult to address without getting too specific.  Sarah explained that they want landowners to have a discussion with operators and foresters.

 

Will Staats suggested it would be important to qualify the use of farm tractors under the Other category.  Will Guinn said the forwarder discussion should also be qualified. 

 

Geoff said listing the pros and cons would be very helpful. Sarah will try to strengthen this more.

 

Dave Tellman suggested striking last sentence in the introductory paragraph. Contracts should not be discussed in this chapter. Phil said these things will be picked up at editing.

 

Sarah asked if insurance discussions would be in the same category. Yes, that is important but not in this chapter.

 

Phil suggested that the primary Consideration should be hiring a good operator. Even the best choice of logging system won’t work if you don’t have good operators and good supervision. 

 

Don suggested defining what a harvesting system is. Under Considerations he suggested adding that the presence of threatened or endangered species could affect the choice of harvesting system.

 

The group wanted to be sure that biomass harvesting and whole tree harvesting were added to the glossary.

 

Don suggested adding the Recommendation to contact the NH Natural Heritage Bureau to consult about the presence of threatened or endangered species on the woodlot. 

 

Phil said available landing space is also a concern. There is also a major difference in safety recommendations between harvesting systems particularly with snag trees. OSHA requires cutting down snags, but when operators are in an enclosed cab it is not necessary. 

 

Mariko suggested that the session should be cross-referenced with wildlife and safety sections 

 

Phil asked if the point is made that large equipment is not necessarily bad. Sarah responded that the operator and the site are also important factors.

 

Phil said the Recommended Practice should be match the equipment to the site and hire a high quality operator.

 

Dave Tellman pointed out that grapple skidders can be very damaging on unfrozen ground. Skidders really do sink into unfrozen ground. Reemphasize site and conditions for choice.

 

Bob said the pros and cons sections can deal with that subject. Will Guinn said a pros and cons section is very important to choosing the system.

 

Geoff suggested stating that good preplanning and marking are important especially with whole tree harvesting

 

Will Staats asked if he was suggesting good layout prior to the job no matter what the system. Geoff said yes, but it is especially important with whole tree.

 

Sarah pointed out that bullet 6 under Considerations addresses this.

 

Geoff suggested that green certification pre-planning is a good model for this.

 

Chris Mattrick asked if the pros and cons are the Recommended Practices. Some of the Recommended Practices as they are written now are not about choosing a harvesting system. 

 

Sarah will revise the section and bring it back to the committee.

 

 

Non-Timber Forest Products

Kristina presented a revised draft of non-timber forest products.

 

Several small changes were made to address the concerns of the committee at the December meeting. The Issue and Objective statements were both revised to refocus the chapter on an educational approach.

 

American Ginseng was eliminated from table of broad non-timber forest product examples.

 

The text of the Native Plant Protection Act was deleted. Several Considerations and Recommended Practices were added or revised. 

 

The group suggested the following changes:

 

  1. review the entry for baskets in the table. It is redundant.
  2. Add cider to the uses column for wild fruit in the table
  3. delete fiddleheads from the table as they are a species of special concern in NH
  4. under Considerations, bullet 5, specify that removing whole plants for commercial horticultural purposes is not sustainable.
  5. under Recommended Practices, bullet six, revise bullet to focus on taking an inventory of all natural resources on the property whether the goal is casual collection or a small business. Understand what you have is the best way to make sustainable choices. Move this recommendation to the top of the list.

 

The group agreed that the chapter was acceptable with these changes.

 

Matt asked about hunting or other leases as a non-timber forest product. Is managing for game species managing for a non-timber forest product? Yes. So that perhaps that discussion should occur here.

 

Phil said that is a big topic. Leases are access restrictions which may also affect current use valuation.

 

Matt said that reducing access is a major consideration.  Will Guinn suggested this discussion may be most appropriate for the recreation chapter.

 

 

Safety  

The discussion of the revised Safety chapter was tabled due to time constraints.

 

Next Meeting

 

The next Steering Committee meeting is Tuesday, April 14 at the TNC Office in Concord. Directions to TNC are on the GF web site as well as printed on the back of today’s agenda.

 

The meeting adjourned at Noon.

Notes submitted by Kristina Ferrare.

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