Bear Brook Sanitation Timber Harvest
December 6, 2013 Update
The contractor has cut most of the red pines in Unit 3 along Deerfield Road and One Mile Trail and has begun to skid the trees to the log landing off Depot Road. The landing is expected to become busier over the next few weeks as trucks arrive to transport the logs to Canada and the chips to the PSNH Schiller Station in Portsmouth to be burned to produce electricity.
Harvesting will continue through the winter and the following trails may be closed when the contractor is working in the area; portions of the One Mile Trail, Pitch Pine Trail, Broken Boulder Trail, and Hemlock Trail. Snowmobilers should use caution when traveling along the trail that parallels Campground road. Trail users should check this webpage for updates this winter for closures or restrictions.
During out visit, we were able to closely examine the trees that are on the ground and the rate of mortality since last winter was surprising. Many of the tree crowns were dead and secondary pest infestation can be easily seen. The white pine regeneration in this area is very healthy and these young trees will be "released" to grow after the removal of the infested red pine overstory and eventually grow into the next forest on this site.
In the summer of 2012, the Division of Forests and Lands determined that the plantation red pine stand at Bear Brook State Park was infested by the invasive non-native red pine scale insect that was causing swift mortality of the trees and posed a health hazard to red pines in the state. Visitors to Bear Brook State Park
will notice a dramatic change to the roadside along New Rye Road, Deerfield Road, Middle Road, Podunk Road and Lower Campground Road and along the One Mile Trail, Pitch Pine Trail and Broken Boulder Trail in the vicinity of the Smith Pond Shelter area. The established white pine regeneration in the harvested areas are expected to respond to the increased light and within a few years of the harvest the trees are expected to grow 12 to 18 inches per year.
For more information continue reading below and check back often for more updates on red pine scale and forestry at the park.
October 2013 Update
The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands will be completing the harvest of red pine plantations heavily infested with red pine scale at Bear Brook State Park. Begun last winter and slated to resume late this fall, completion of the harvest will wrap up the remaining 20 acres of the original 118 acre sanitation area along Deerfield Road and One Mile Trail.
In addition a second sanitation harvest is scheduled for this coming winter to remove recently infested red pine trees on an additional 100 acres of the park. The infested trees occur in small pockets of pure red pine as well as throughout several small mixed stands along Middle Road, Podunk Road and Lower Campground Road and along the Pitch Pine Trail and Broken Boulder Trail in the vicinity of the Smith Pond Shelter area.
Red Pine Scale outbreaks were first detected in CT, NY and NJ between the 1940’s and 1960’s and it has slowly crept north virtually eliminating red pine in RI and CT. Over the past few years it has spread across most of MA. The insect itself is not very mobile but it is easily spread by the wind and birds. The first visible signs of infestation include bright “flagging” or discoloration of the lower branches followed by swift decline of the entire crown and rapid stand wide mortality.
For additional information regarding red pine scale or if you have a red pine stand that you suspect may be infected contact Forest Health Program Coordinator Kyle Lombard at (603) 464-3016.
For additional information regarding the sanitation harvest at Bear Brook contact Regional Forester Will Guinn at (603) 271-2214 or Forester Scott Rolfe at (603) 227-8735.
April 11, 2013 Update
The Red Pine Scale Sanitation Harvest is approximately 75% complete. The contractor has finished cutting and skidding in units 1, 2 and 4 (see map
) and will complete the remaining units in the Fall of 2013. Trucking and harvest closeout will continue through the spring. Toll Booth Trail and One Mile Trail are cleared and open.
In the summer of 2012, the Division of Forests and Lands determined that the plantation red pine stand at Bear Brook State Park was infested by the invasive non-native red pine scale insect
that was causing swift mortality of the trees and posed a health hazard to red pines in the state. Harvesting of approximately 118 acres of the red pine plantation began in mid-February, when the insect was dormant.
Visitors to Bear Brook State Park will notice a dramatic change to the roadside along New Rye Road and Deerfield Road. The established white pine regeneration in the harvested areas are expected to respond to the increased light and within a few years of the harvest the trees are expected to grow 12 to 18 inches per year.
For more information continue reading below and check back often for more updates on red pine scale and forestry at the park.
April 5th, 2013 Update
Here are photos taken from roughly the same spot (corner of New Rye Road and Deerfield Road) before and after the harvest (use the stop sign for reference).
- Note the “flagging” or discoloration in the red pine crowns in the pre-harvest shot.
- Note the white pine regeneration in the post harvest shot.
March 21, 2013 Update
The contractor has started cutting on the South side of Deerfield Road. The entrance and first portion of One Mile Trail has been temporarily closed to public access.
This closure to last approximately 4 to 6 weeks. The snowmobile parking lot on Deerfield road is also be closed for the remainder of the season.
All harvesting in Unit 1 on New Rye Road is complete. The logs are stock piled and awaiting trucking in the log yard off of New Rye Road. There is still more harvesting to be completed on the north side of Deerfield Road in Unit 2.
March 8, 2013 Update
The Division of Parks and Recreation and the Division of Forests and Lands hosted the SCA NH Corps
for a presentation and site walk about the Sanitation Harvest occurring at Bear Brook State Park. The SCA NH Corps is one of Student Conservation Association
’s oldest residential corps programs and they are housed at Spruce Pond Camp in Bear Brook State Park. The corps members dedicate 10 months of direct service in New Hampshire providing environmental education in Manchester and Allenstown schools in the winter and conservation work in parks, forests and other natural areas statewide in the summer.
The contractor has several pieces of equipment on site and is expected to increase cutting this week with the addition of more equipment and staff. Equipment on-site includes a feller-buncher which cuts and stacks the trees, a grapple skidder that pulls the tree to the log yard and a crane that strips the branches from the trees then cuts the tree to length removing the tops and stacks and sorts the logs. A chipper and chip van are expected soon. The log landing off New Rye Road is expected to become busier over the next few weeks as truck arrive to transport the logs to Canada and the chips to the PSNH Schiller Station
in Portsmouth to be burned to produce electricity.
Highlights from our visit:
Scale Insect Information
Watch the Scale Insect Question and Answer Session that followed this presentation too.
Forestry at Bear Brook State Park
- Red Pine Scale is a flightless insect that is spread by birds, squirrels and the wind.
- Occurs in the tree tops on small branches and limbs.
- Insects are not visible to the naked eye.
- Females secrete a white, fuzzy protective covering called “flocculent” which helps insulate the insect over the winter; it is the most visible sign of the insect infestation.
- Scale insects pierce the phloem of the bark and suck the moisture from the trees stressing them as if there was a drought.
- Once stressed, the trees are susceptible to secondary pests such as the Turpentine Beetle that bore into the main stem causing additional stress and introduce other pathogens.
- All these signs are present in the Red Pine plantation at Bear Brook State Park.
- The park is approximately 10,000 acres; 3,000 acres are set aside as a wildlife preserve (limited forest management occurs) and the remaining acreage is managed forest.
- The forest has been managed since the 1930’s for habitat, health, forest research and forest products.
- The Red Pine plantation has been managed over the years to promote a regeneration of White Pine to take the place of the Red Pine.
- The loggers are using established skid trails to protect the White Pine saplings. Some Red Pine trees are temporarily left standing to act as “bumper trees” to help the skidders guide the hitches and stay on the skid trails.
- The NH Division of Forests and Lands manages all the State Reservation (Parks and Forests) using the management practices outlined in “Good Forestry in the Granite State.”
- The forest products harvested on State Reservations contribute to the State General Fund and the Forest Management and Protection Fund.
Bear Brook Timber Harvest Background
In order to minimize the spread of red pine scale, the NH Division of Forests and Lands will be harvesting several red pine plantations in Bear Brook State Park
beginning February 20th, 2013. Red pine scale
is an exotic insect that causes swift decline and mortality in red pine stands. New Hampshire's first documented case of red pine scale was discovered last summer in this park. The project will affect 118 acres, concentrating on pine stands along Deerfield Road, New Rye Road and One Mile Trail. Removal of these trees will dramatically change the look of the park in these areas.
Sanitation Harvest Map
The timber harvest project began on February 20, 2013 (see video below). The area along Deerfield and New Rye Roads is expected to be harvested by late April. The interior stands (not visible from roads) are expected to be harvested by late spring. All trees will be cut and stacked on-site and trucking may continue into early summer. If work is not completed by mid-May, harvesting will be suspended and resume in the late summer or early fall.
What Will the Forest Look Like After this Harvest?
Previous forest management projects at Bear Brook have allowed natural establishment of a dense, healthy understory of young white pine trees. These young trees will be "released" to grow after the removal of the infested red pine overstory and eventually grow into the next forest on this site.
Here are some photos of what Bear Brook is anticipated to look like after the overstory removal of infested red pine along Deerfield and new Rye Roads:
| This picture is of an overstory removal at Bear Brook in the late 90’s on Black Haul Road. Note the abundance of young white pine understory was retained by carefully removing the overstory trees. These young trees responded well to the increased light and within a few years of the harvest were growing 12 to 18 inches per year. These trees are now an impressive 30 to 40 feet in height.
||This picture was taken several years after a similar harvest at Alton Bay State Forest. Significant growth can be observed in these young white pines as they have responded to the increases in light and available water and nutrients that resulted from the removal of the competing overstory trees.
History of Red Pines at Bear Brook
The red pine plantation currently undergoing timber harvest was planted by the Daughters of the American Revolution back in 1940. The only Daughters of American Revolution Forest
in NH is at Bear Brook State Park! 30,000 pines and a bronze marker were dedicated on June 25, 1940.
Daughters of the American Revolution Forests (excerpt from DAR website)
In 1939, the President General, Mrs. Henry M. Robert, chose the Penny Pine program as one of her Golden Jubilee National Projects. Each state was to have a memorial forest, beginning in 1939 and culminating in 1941 on the NSDAR 50th Anniversary. Each chapter across the country was to pledge, at the very least, one acre of pine seedlings. Five dollars an acre at a penny each equals 500 trees. The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC), under the supervision of the U.S. Forestry Service, would do the actual work of planting and care.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the CCC in 1933 to solve two problems. It would offer employment to Americans age 18-26, who were out of work because of the failing economy, and it would help the National Forests that were in deplorable condition due to over-harvesting, devastating fires, and little replanting. The CCC would revitalize our National Forests and employ millions of young people.
With new assistance from the CCC, the National Forest Service started its program of replanting and growing pines in National nurseries throughout the country. These pines would be sold to organizations and individuals for a penny each to help share with the cost of the project - hence the popular term Penny Pines. It was patriotic and popular enough that stores and post offices set up buckets for people to put pennies into, and that's how the NSDAR became involved. Some of the states could not participate due to prolonged droughts in their state and the National Forest Service recommended planting many large trees on private lands.