Greenfield Forest Health Improvement Project
May 23, 2013 Update
The Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer recreation season and the staff has been hard at work opening up Greenfield State Park by turning on the water to the park, installing new campsite signs, mowing lawns and repairing winter damage.
Thanks to the help from the SCA NH Corps
and Robblee Tree Service of Antrim NH
the cleanup of Unit 1 after the forest health improvement project is completed. Over 100 tons of branches and woody debris was chipped from the campground, roads and campsites. There are still many small branches and sticks along roadsides and campers are encouraged to forage for campfire wood.
In our January 24th site visit we were trying to visualize the response of the forest and at site visit last week we noted good regeneration has already started and many of the hardwoods have resprouted. We all will have to care for the forest and trees to continue to make Greenfield State Park
a special place; let’s all recite the Greenfield Camper’s Pledge and go camping!
Greenfield Campers Pledge
• To help encourage new growth and protect the forest, I will not trample seedlings and young trees between campsites.
• To protect the health of the trees I will not damage the trees by pounding nails into trees, hanging lanterns from trees, or cutting the trees with axes or knives.
• To encourage healthy forest soils and prevent root compaction I will park in designated areas and pitch tents on the campsite.
February 27, 2013 Update
The contractor has finished cutting Unit 1 at the park. Campground clean up by the contactor will be done once the snow melts in late March including road clearing and blocking skid trails. Trees cut and stacked in the log-yard will gradually be shipped to saw mills over the next few months and then the yard will be cleared, seeded and blocked off until next winter when Unit 2 will be harvested. We’re looking forward to spring and another fantastic camping season – hope to see you at the park!
Greenfield Post Harvest Campground Signs
January 24, 2013 Update
The snow and cold temperatures this last week have allowed the Forest Health project at Greenfield State Park to resume. Approximately 1/3 of Unit 1 of the project has been completed. Harvested trees are skidded to the log yard off Route 31and processed as saw logs pulp or chips before being trucked to local New Hampshire mills.
Walking through the campground this winter it is hard to visualize how the campsites will look in the spring, however we can imagine how the forest will respond. Openings created by the removal of damaged and declining trees will allow more sunlight to reach the forest floor. This will help small hardwoods such as oak and maple to resprout and provide better screening between campsites. The remaining overstory trees will also benefit by having more room for their crowns to grow and expand, providing shade to the campsites below. These changes will take several years but in the long-term the trees and forest at Greenfield State Park will be healthier.
Note: Public access is prohibited in the project area. The snowmobile trails through this area of the park have been closed for the season.
January 15, 2013 Update
Improving Forest Health at Greenfield State Park
The growth of the trees and overall health of the forest in Greenfield State Park is declining. The park is 50 years old and many of the trees are now over 80 years old. The fastest growing and healthiest trees have dominated the forest canopy while the slower, weaker trees have become suppressed in the understory. Over time these suppressed trees have become starved for sunlight and other resources and slowly deteriorate and die. In addition many of the dominate trees have suffered damage from multiple ice and wind storms. Another factor that has had an adverse affect on the health and vigor of the forest is the direct damage caused by campers pounding nails into trees or hacking trees with axes and knives. Multiple wounds that damage the bark of a tree allow fungal infections to enter, causing heart and root rot that eventually lead to the death of the tree.
In order to provide a safe recreational environment for campers to enjoy, and to promote a healthy forest and encourage new trees to grow, many of the damaged and declining trees in the Park will need to be removed. Trees will be chosen by New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands Foresters and marked with blue paint for removal. During the winter of 2012/13 the trees will be harvested and utilized for forest products that we all need such as lumber, paper and wood chips to generate electricity. While this operation will result in a significant visual change to the Park it is important to remember that it is temporary and necessary. The remaining trees will have more room to grow and develop while openings in the forest canopy will allow more light to reach the forest floor for new tree seedlings to become established and grow between campsites.
For more information contact the NH Division of Forests and Lands at (603)271-2214 or www.nhdfl.org
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