When a harvest on state lands is being considered, there are several steps that must occur – this process is far from hasty. First, a forester from the Division of Forests and Lands performs what is called a “prescription cruise.” In this process, the forester measures a sample of trees throughout the woods, while also making note of the health and quality of the forest, sensitive features on the landscape such as wetlands, streams, and cellar holes, and wildlife habitat features such as large down logs and trees with cavities (holes where an animal could nest). During and after the prescription cruise, a plan is developed for how best to treat the forest. This depends on many factors, including health, age, and form of the trees, soil characteristics, insect and disease considerations, and wildlife values. Possible treatments range from selecting individual trees for harvest, to large clearcuts, to leaving the woods alone. Once a treatment is developed, it is presented for review and comment by several state agencies, including the Fish and Game Department, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Bureau, Trails Bureau, and the Department of Cultural Resources. Following this review process, the forester implements the “layout” of the sale, choosing how best to arrange skid roads and harvest areas to minimize impacts on streams and wetlands, while having the most benefit for timber and wildlife goals. (1)
Small stand of sapling-pole sized trees, approximately 40 years old.
Trees this size/age make up around 19% of the entire property. Trees
smaller and younger than this only occur on about 1% of Northwood
Meadows State Park, and represent an important habitat that is lacking
on this landscape. (2) Mature eastern white pine stand with hemlock
understory. Group selection can promote softwood species such as these
for wildlife benefits and timber production.