Silver Lake Timber Sale

March 18, 2020

NOTICE: The Silver Lake State Park timber sale site walk scheduled for Saturday March 21, 2020 is cancelled due to CDC guidance for Covid-19. The site walk will be rescheduled at a later date.

Project Overview
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Forests and Lands is in the early stages of planning the first forest management project at Silver Lake State Park since its acquisition. A shelterwood harvest will be implemented in the fall of 2020 to improve the health of the forest, increase the growth of the trees, and to provide a safer experience for people recreating along Silver Lake State Park’s trails. State Foresters have observed that some of the trees have started to decline or show signs of rot, which can lead to increased downed trees, dead snag trees, and dead limbs falling, all of which create safety issues for park users. The shelterwood harvest will improve forest health and vigor by removing trees from the overstory to allow light to reach the forest floor and spur the establishment and growth of young trees.

(Above left: Current forest conditions at Silver Lake State Park, note the crowded trees. Above right: Shelterwood harvest will allow light to reach forest floor allowing young trees to spur growth)

(Above left: Example of shelterwood harvest and young tree response at Bear Brook State Park. Above right: A forwarder is the type of forestry equipment that will transport the trees to the log yard.)

What to Expect
The project will be contracted for the period of September 15 – March 31, with the goal of completing the project prior to snowfall to create as little disruption for the snowmobiles as possible. Final closeout work and trail grading may not occur until the following spring, depending on ground conditions.

Some trails will need to be temporarily used by logging equipment during the harvest. This is due to the terrain in certain parts of the park, as well as limited access in another portion of the park. All trails will be restored to normal condition once the operation is complete. Discussions have already been held with the DNCR Trails Bureau and the Hollis Nor’Easters snowmobile club.

In addition, an area approximately 3.7 acres in size directly behind the parking lot has been found to be hosting an extensive population of Norway maple in the understory and mid story of the forest. Norway maple is considered to be an exotic invasive species, and will continue to overtake the native species if left unattended. The Norway maple will be sprayed by our forest health specialist this spring in order to kill it and prevent its spread before the timbersale occurs. Once the timbersale is over, there may be a secondary treatment in order to suppress any regrowth of the Norway maple.

Management of the State Reservations
The Division of Forests and Lands is responsible for forest management including timber harvests on all State Forests and State Parks. Timber harvests are implemented through a 40-step timber sale process and incorporate the recommended best management practices found in “Good Forestry in the Granite State”. Part of the 40-step timber sale process includes review and input by other state agencies such as the Fish and Game Department and Natural Heritage Bureau as well as a public notification and comment period. Revenue from the sale of timber on state lands is used to fund the various bureaus and programs within the agency.

The Division of Parks and Recreation is a self-funded agency that manages developed recreation areas. Funds collected for facility use are used for the maintenance and upkeep of parks statewide. The Division manages 93 properties, including state parks, beaches, campgrounds, historic sites, trails, waysides, and natural areas.

For More Information Billy Kunelius, Forester,, 603-227-8736

February 28, 2020

The Division of Forests and Lands has scheduled a public outreach site walk at Silver Lake State Park Saturday March 21, 2020, 10:00am – 12:00pm to discuss the planned timber sale at the park. The walk will be lead by project forester Billy Kunelius and regional forester Scott Rolfe. The walk will start in the Silver Lake State Park parking lot with a short introduction to the project at 10:00am and then participants will head out into the woods to see what is planned in the timber sale area. The walk will occur snow, rain, or shine, so please dress accordingly and wear the appropriate footwear for being out in the woods!

For more information contact Billy Kunelius @ 603-227-8736 or