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Author Topic: A Forest Management Plan  (Read 34070 times)

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Offline Jeff

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A Forest Management Plan
« on: June 02, 2007, 11:17:30 AM »
After Tammy and I bought our chunk of da U.P., We knew we wanted some professional advice concerning the property due to its obviously sensitive nature. We want to be able to enjoy the property, improve it, but most important, not harm or cause detrimental change to what it is. We also wanted to use our experience as first time woodland owners to share on the Forestry Forum. The hope is of getting more information to help in the management of our new property as well as perhaps giving some sort of guideline for those that may find themselves in a similar need down the road.

My first and natural thought was to try and enlist Ron Scott to help. I could not have a greater respect for a forester, or any professional for that matter, on how he approaches his chosen profession then I have for Ron. I carry that respect for him here as well in his role as a Forestry Forum administrator.

Last month, Burlkraft and I took off for the cabin in the U.P. where we spent the rest of that day taking a look at our property. Steve stayed the night at the cabin and then left for Cheeseville the next morning, leaving me behind to meet with Ron Scott the following day.


View from the Mighty Mac as Steve and I crossed into the U.P. There was a fog bank rolling in and it was amazing looking. Photo does nothing for the real scene.


We stopped for gas at the Casino in St. Ignace after crossing and was greeted by this rainbow.

Steve and Ice and I explored my property a little bit, although it was quite wet in the woods due to the rain we had received the day and night before. This was Ice's first time in the woods and it was a very pleasant surprise to find out how well behaved she is out there. She stays close, within 30 or 40 yards or so,  and minds very well. She is a joy to have along with me. On this day It was funnier then all get out. Steve and I were ready to go to the truck, and it almost seemed like she was telling us she was not ready to go. She ran up the trail ahead of us, turned and barked at us. I told her to stop barking. Then she did the weirdest thing. There was a mucky hole right in front of her. She jumped forward and shoved her head into it.

Then she jumped back and looked at us again, muck dripping from her head. Once again she jumped in and rolled and rolled in the muck. She jumps back up and barked at us one more time as if to say, "HA! Now we can't go, I'm to muddy for the truck!"  I guess you had to be there, but it was hilarious. We found out that Ice rides very nicely in the back of the truck. In fact she likes it.  :)


Off to the lake for Icy Baby.

More to come... 
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Offline WDH

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 12:04:32 PM »
You got the first part right, Boss.  You can't do a genuine Forest Management Plan without a Dog :D.

I am confident that Ice will make a fine contribution to the plan ;D.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2007, 12:13:48 PM »
The next day, after attending SAF meetings in Escanaba, Ron traveled back east and arrived at my Sister's Cabin to meet up with me to walk our property the following day. Our Camp cook was there, my Brother-n-Law, Pete. He made us some Italian sausage soup for supper. It was great as always. The next morning he made us a big breakfast before we took off for down the road to spend the day going over the property.


Ron and Ice getting ready to go in the woods.


Ron and Ice IN the woods. :)

Ron and I walked most all areas of the property, looking at not only the trees, but the soil types and other vegetation. We looked for signs of Wildlife and Wildlife habitat. Ron spent a long time answering questions I had about how to do this and that. He was careful to explain what things I should avoid and things that I should try to achieve.


Ron using a prism to check the aspen stocking on the west end of the property. I have some very nice aspen trees that's time has come to do something with. I plan on using them for framing material. Ron explained to me that on this site, the aspen would be short lived and should be utilized now. Basically I will remove it from this forest type.


Ron and I stop back in the south east cedars near what he explained to me was an intermittent stream. It flows above and below ground, probably fed by a spring (or springs) right near where we stood.  There were some excellent spots in this stream where some muck could be removed to make small wildlife watering holes. 


Here is a whatzit plant that was growing on the property. I don't know what it is. YET. :)  Hopefully you folks can help with that.


Here is one of several natural bear dens on our property. They really are neat features back in the woods.


These "Marsh Marigolds" grow in the ditch at one end of our property.


 

This area is just off of our property and up into the hardwoods to the south. The Trillium sure are easy to look at. :)

I sure learned a lot the day I spent in our woods with Ron and plan on learning more and more. Ron made a lot of notes on our walk and wrote up a basic management plan that I received from him this past week. I'll share that in my next post. :)
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 12:27:47 PM »
Hmm, from saw mill rat to tree hugger.  Way to go, boss!!!! 8)
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Offline Jeff

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 12:31:13 PM »
ARC CONSULTING SERVICES
RONALD E. SCOTT, CF, ACF (Ret.)
ALL RESOURCE CONNECTIONS
REGISTERED FORESTER #612
http://webpages.charter.net/arcwoods

May 24, 2007

Jeff Brokaw
3210 Bischoff
Harrison, MI 48625

Reference: Private Property Land and Resource Management Prescription

Dear Jeff:

A field review was made on 5/11/07 of your woodland property of two 10-acre parcels located in the Township of Detour, County of Chippewa, Michigan described as follow:

Parcel A:
The Northwest of the Northwest of the Northwest , Section 27 Town 42 North, Range 3 East.

Parcel B:
The Northeast of the Northwest of the Northwest , Section 27, Town 42 North, Range 3 East.

Overview

The property is bounded by N. Caribou Drive (county blacktop) on the north and Piesly road (county gravel) on the west. A gravel access site and vehicle-parking spur is located on the north side of the property off of North Caribou Drive. It is suspected that the access site/parking spur was constructed to provide legal access to the property when N. Caribou Drive was constructed /reconstructed and blacktopped some time back.

A high voltage power transmission line traverses the property at approximately 45 degrees from the northwest corner at the intersection of N. Caribou Drive and Piesly road. The transmission line rights-of- way is not easily assessable by two-wheel drive vehicle due to excessive wetness, heavy rutting, and a heavy matted vegetative cover of thick cannery grass.

The woodland ecosystem is primarily lowland conifer with included lowland hardwoods. Tree species are northern white cedar, balsam fir, white spruce, eastern larch (tamarack), aspen, balsam poplar, red maple, and white and yellow birch. The basal area averages 110 120 square feet/acre of saw timber and pole size timber.

1. The terrain is generally flat with a high water table through much of the year. Deer, bear, rabbits, and grouse are active on the area. An intermittent stream runs through the southeast corner of the property with some included small ponding waterholes. 

Soils

Five (5) soil types for the property are described in the Soil Survey of Chippewa County, Michigan issued February 1992. They are (see included soils map):

(149B) Kalkaska Sand, 0 6% slopes, stony.
This soil is located in a small triangular area in the southwest corner of the property bounded by Piesly road and the south property line. This soil is a very deep, somewhat excessively drained nearly level and undulating. It is usually on broad plains and upland flats. Surface runoff is slow.

Northern hardwoods are usually the dominant cover type on this soil. The soil is good for hardwoods, conifers, and wildlife shrubs. Trees to plant include red pine and white pine.

Major management concerns are equipment limitations, seeding mortality, and plant competition.

This soil is deeper to water and the best suited for building site development on the property, but septic filtering may be poor.
 
(89A) Kinross-AuGres Complex, 0 3% slopes (Hydric Soil). This soil is found in a diagonal band to the northeast parallel with the power line. This soil is very deep, nearly level, poorly drained Kinross and somewhat poorly drained AuGres soil on low ridges and knolls.

Kinross soil is frequently ponded. It has a surface of black muck about 5 inches thick. Typically, the AuGres soil is covered by about 1 inch of well-decomposed leaf litter.

Permeability is rapid in the Kinross and AuGres soils and the available water capacity is low. Surface runoff is slow on the AuGres soil and very slow or ponded on the Kinross soil from fall to late spring. The Kinross soil has a seasonal high water table of 1 foot above to 1 foot below the surface October - June and the AuGres soil has a water table at a depth of 0.5 foot to 1.5 feet November May.

These soils are used as woodland. Aspen and swamp conifers are the dominant cover types of these soils. Trees are generally not planted on these soils, but trees that may be planted are white spruce, red pine, eastern white pine, and Norway spruce.

This soil is poorly suited to building site development and the use of equipment is limited because of wetness and ponding.

(36) Markey and Carbondale Mucks (Hydric Soil). On to the northwest, these soils cover the majority of the property. They includes the diagonal transmission line rights-of- way.

These soils are very deep, nearly level, and very poorly drained. They are organic soils in broad depressions, swamps, and drainage ways. They are frequently ponded and have excess humus.

Available water capacity is high in both soils. The water table is 1 foot above to 1 foot below the surface from fall to summer, September June, and seldom drops below a depth of 1 foot. Surface runoff is very slow or ponded. The potential for frost is high.

These soils are used as woodland. The swamp conifer cover type is dominant on these soils. Trees are shallow rooted, and wind throw may be common. These soils are good for wetland plants and shallow water areas favorable to wildlife.

They are unsuited for building sites and use of equipment is restricted due to the severe wetness.

(14A) Gaastra Silt-Loam, 0 3% slopes (Hydric Soil).  This soil is located in a small area along the center of the east property line. This is a somewhat poorly drained, nearly level soil on broad plains and in depressions. Permeability is moderately slow. Available water capacity is high. Surface runoff is slow.

A seasonal high water table is at a depth of 1 2 feet from late fall to late spring, November May. The potential for frost action is high.

Most areas are used as woodland of swamp conifers and lowland hardwoods. White spruce and eastern white pine may be planted. The major management concern is excessive wetness. Use of equipment is limited and it is poorly suited for building site development because of wetness.

This soil may be prime farmland if drained.

(98) Ermatinger Silt Loams muck (Hydric Soil). This soil is very deep, nearly level, poorly drained soil on broad flats on former glacial flood plains. It is frequently ponded. Permeability is moderate. Available water capacity is high. Surface runoff is very slow or ponded. The seasonal high water table is 1 foot above to 1 foot below the surface from fall to early summer October June.

Because of wetness, trees on this soil are shallow rooted. Many may be blown down during periods of high winds. The aspen cover type is dominant on this soil and it is good for wetland plants.

Use of equipment is limited and it is poorly suited for building site development because of wetness. A major management need is removing excess water during wet periods.


Management Direction

The following management direction is recommended for the property under its existing condition:

1) Manage the majority of the area in its existing natural condition for wildlife, wetland, aesthetics, and timber stand improvement.

2) The primary timber management direction for the woodland is to improve its future quality and value through timber stand improvement by release, culling, and weeding for development and improvement of hardwood and conifer crop trees.

A suggested work method to complete timber stand improvement is:

  • Divide the woodland into 1-5 acre grids as preferred to serve as work and control areas to insure completion of the entire woodland acres in a systematic manner. Within the grid areas identify crop trees and release them from competition. (Crop trees are those trees that will be grown to maturity and will not be removed from the woodland before final harvest. Crop trees are usually selected on the basis of its species, location with respect to other trees, and quality.)
  • Paint mark or number the selected crop trees. Identify crop trees that are spaced 20 to 25 feet apart. If crop trees are scarce or unevenly distributed, you can leave two trees as close as 10 feet as long as you treat them as one tree when thinning. Remove trees with crowns that encroach on those of crop trees.
  • Free all sides of sapling and small pole timber-size trees and at least three sides of larger trees. Trees below the main canopy will not affect crop tree growth, but you may cut them if they can be used for personal use, firewood, or are marketable.
  • Do not damage crop tree stems and roots while thinning the stand. Repeat the thinning every 15 to 20 years. The thinning may then be done commercially, but only during winter freeze up conditions when the trees are of pulpwood and sawlog size. In simple terms always manage for the best tree in place and remove the worst first.
  • Give preference to any hardwood tree species when found in any segment of the woodland and retain any included hemlock, red pine, and white pine. Designate all aspen and balsam poplar for removal.



3) Daylight some of the existing small openings throughout the lowland woodland to encourage diversity of ground vegetation for wildlife. Leave 1-2 grouse drumming logs/acre.   

4) Clean out and if possible expand the small wetland ponded areas along the intermittent stream in the southeast corner of the property for wildlife watering holes.

5) When doing timber stand improvement activities, retain the limbs and woody debris for placement in brush piles for rabbit cover.

6) There are a number of natural bear dens throughout the area. Retain such sites and improve them as possible with additional slash bedding and woody debris.

7) Remove the existing reed canary grass cover and level the heavy ruts along the power transmission line rights-of-way.  Obtain a soil analysis and after the reed canary grass has been controlled, seed the rights-of-way with wildlife northern seed mixtures and plant low growing wildlife shrubs. Plant a vegetative screen along the rights-of way at its intersection with N. Caribou Drive and Piesly road.

8)
Complete a registered landline survey of the property and obtain a Certificate of Survey. Mark the surveyed lines with steel fence posts and monument all corners with an above ground steel pipe.

9) Place a Stewardship Forest sign along the north boundary along N. Caribou Drive and place one along the west boundary along Piesly road. These signs are the same as those placed by Lou Kurtis, the neighboring landowner. Mr. Kurtis stated that he could make some such signs available to you.

10)
  Continue to work with the Chippewa/Mackinaw east County Conservation District Forester and/or a local Professional Consulting Forester for continued land & resource management.

Sincerely,

RONALD E. SCOTT, CF, ACR (Ret.)
ARC Consulting Services



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Offline Gary_C

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2007, 01:02:01 PM »
That is really nice! You have some work laid out for you Jeff, but I'm sure it will be more fun than work. There is nothing better than being out in the woods and especially if it's your own.    8)

My first impression of the whatzit plant is hemp.   :D

Did you have any luck with the powerline owners on those ruts?
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Offline Jeff

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2007, 05:00:29 PM »
Gary, I decided to go the route of trying to take care of it myself. As it turns out, I can easily go anywhere I like on the powerline. Its good and solid and even the ruts have solid bottoms from what I have seen.  I plan on killing the grass and dealing with the ruts with tools at hand, a small amount at a time.

Here is my grass conquering tool. ;D
 

I'm already using a trail that goes clear to my back line on the powerline to remove some dead birch for firewood I have cleared from trails.
 


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Offline Jeff

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2007, 05:02:51 PM »
This past week I created almost 3/8s of a mile of maintenance trails that the quad can easily traverse. I sprayed around an acre of the powerline with roundup to start my improvements there.
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Offline Burlkraft

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 05:12:41 PM »

My first impression of the whatzit plant is hemp.   :D


I 'spose that's fer da bears...then... ??? ??? ???...Eh  ???
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 06:22:30 PM »
Ron S.,

Very nice management plan. 

Jeff,

Now you are a "multiple use" resource manager ;).
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2007, 06:43:58 PM »
Thanks. It will be interesting to see how much Jeff improves the parcel, given some time. It is great bear habitat, so I'm sure it will keep his interest. ;)
~Ron

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2007, 07:00:30 PM »
I think its pretty good deer territory as well, problem is also wolf and coyotes find it a nice place to congregate. I saw what I think was a male and female yote cross in front of me while on the quad heading back to the cabin. 

I had been driving on a path I created on the powerline for a couple days. On the third day my grass killer arrived so I hooked up the sprayer and headed down to spray. Just as I turned into the powerline I saw a nice big doe walking away from me a couple poles up, walking right in the quad trail I had created. She was followed by two wobbly legged fawns. I had heard that mamma's always separate their fawns, but these two were together with her and they were tiny.  I had turned into the trail and driven in about 40 yards before I noticed the deer. My camera was in the back box in a case. By the time I got it out, the fawns were scampering in two different directions into the tall grass. Mamma just turned and watched them, then stood and watched me.  They were right where I was going to spray, and I knew that if I went on down, the fawns would stay right there, hiding in the grass. So... I decided to put spraying off for a couple hours, and backed out and left them to leave in their own time. Fair trade off for me. :)

Here is the photo I did get. You can see in the zoom that I caught one of the fawns just before it disapeared in the grass to the right. They were probably 80 yards or so from me when I snapped the photo.

 
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2007, 08:10:38 PM »
Looks like the Honda was the right choice for maintaining your property, it looks as though things may get a little soggy here and there.


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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2007, 08:53:48 PM »
Jeff, I can't help but be excited for you. I know that it is a good feeling to arrive at YOUR land and as you ride around it probably crosses your mind that you still can't believe it is yours. Good luck with your ventures and I wish I was close enough to come help with the hard labor.   Don
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2007, 09:04:47 PM »
That is quite the report.Good luck with all of your plans,projects.Is this a site that you want to build a house on some day?How far away is this from your home now?I use to do alot of projects here before I built here.There were times I came here to do something,but I forgot to bring it with me.I would just start something else.I did try to keep a few things here,but it's kinda hard,costly really,to have 2 of everything I own.I know you will have fun.Keep us all posted on the fruits of your labor.
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2007, 09:09:10 PM »
It gives special satisfaction to work on your own property.  Soon, Jeff, you will have had a conversation with each tree on the property as you implement your forest management plan.  Every little step is progress, and the little steps add up to big steps. 
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2007, 10:14:24 PM »
The property is 3 hours drive from here. That makes it tough due to the price of gas. We want to spend more time up there, but I can't forsake my duties here or other web jobs in order to spend longer periods there to save gas. So... Today we got  hooked up so we can get on line via my cell phone and lap top. It will work at the cabin but be painfully slow, but at least I can go and still get work done and check email on the computer. I think I will have real good reception right down in De Tour at the big marina. I can see me down there, looking out over the water and the boats, sitting at the picnic table, reading the forum and my email. ;D

If we can find a way, yes, we want to build there and eventually move there full time. I have been visiting this part of the U.P, since I was a youngster and feel like its home. Its odd. Its always been that way when I get to the eastern U.P. It doesnt seem like I reached a destination like when going on vacation or something. It really feels like I am home again.  :)
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Offline Jeff

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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2007, 10:16:30 PM »
Don K, you come on up.  :)
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Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2007, 11:47:17 PM »
Let me know when the timbers are cut, I'll come out and help cut the joinery. (Just don't get them cut before I get a new transmission for my truck. And that could take a while. :o ::))


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    • hamsleyhardwood.com
Re: A Forest Management Plan
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2007, 12:27:30 AM »
If you need to do some serious tree-talking, I can come up and help.  I am experienced at talking to trees ;D.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com


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