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“The conservation objective in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley is to provide forested habitat capable of supporting sustainable populations of all forest.

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Presentation on theme: "“The conservation objective in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley is to provide forested habitat capable of supporting sustainable populations of all forest."— Presentation transcript:

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2 “The conservation objective in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley is to provide forested habitat capable of supporting sustainable populations of all forest dependant wildlife species.”

3 Purpose of Report of the FRCWG To define desired forest conditions that result from management of bottomland hardwood forests where the primary objective is the conservation of wildlife To provide technical recommendations for the restoration of bottomland hardwood forest on areas that have been converted to non-forested land uses (e.g., agriculture) that reflect the cumulative knowledge and experiences of land managers and researchers from the past decades of active reforestation To recommend protocols and procedures for coordinated inventory and monitoring of forest resources on public lands managed for wildlife conservation such that restoration and management can be implemented in an adaptive manner.

4 Forest Log (Oregon Dept. of Forestry - Newsletter) “Among the findings, the study found that by using structure-based management, ODF is moving the primarily ‘middle-aged’ forests toward a mixture of habitats, including complex forest stands which are similar to old-growth.”

5 NRCS Technical Note No Bird Use of Reforestation Sites: Influence of Location and Vertical Structure

6 “Research suggests that in mature second growth forests, selective timber harvest will benefit many species of forest birds. Harvest should encourage two forest conditions:” A reduced forest canopy, which encourages light penetration of the forest floor, resulting in an increase in understory vegetation, and Retention and development of dominant trees with crowns that are emergent above the average forest canopy.

7 Findings “…aid on-the-ground managers and program managers …in implementing forest management strategies for wildlife conservation.” “To achieve these habitat conditions requires managers to reassess traditional methods of silviculture, placing greater emphasis on retaining and promoting forest structure and senescence to benefit priority wildlife.” (Wildlife Forestry)

8 On reforested sites with densely stocked, closed canopy stands, selective harvest should be undertaken to increase understory vegetation.

9 However, the management action most beneficial to birds would heterogeneously distribute harvest within a reforested site; some areas would be subjected to intense harvest whereas other areas would remain unharvested.

10 Beggs, 2004, Thesis “…variable thinning response…” Excerpt from thesis: "... Study was developed to test if thinning could accelerate development of late-successional habitat in young managed... forests...the goal of this study was to investigate short-term responses of vegetation to thinning treatments and to evaluate this response in relation to long-term objectives of late- successional development." Results: "...current trends indicate that a moderate to heavy thinning in combination with gap formation can hasten development of late-successional features...".

11 Findings “…, we anticipate these recommendations will be instructive to private landowners targeting wildlife conservation as part of their overall land stewardship objectives.” (Forest Stewardship Program)

12 Wildlife Forestry Greater large tree retention Deadwood/snag retention and development

13 Wildlife Forestry Midstory and understory development Species richness Maintenance of shade-intolerant regeneration

14 Recommendations “Because these recommendations reflect the collective technical judgment and experiences of many biologists, foresters, and researchers, they have been developed with the expectation of being incorporated into the forest management programs and forest conservation efforts of LMVJV partners.”

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16 LDWF WMA General Forest Management Plan Revision – March 2007 “Desired Forest Conditions developed by the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture’s Forest Resource Conservation Working Group will be used to guide forest management decisions.”

17 Recommendations “…although these recommendations reflect our current knowledge and experience, refinement and modification is expected as we increase our knowledge, understanding, and experience in the science of bottomland hardwood forest restoration and management.” (adaptive management)

18 Recommendations - high points Restoration: Initial planting density of 435 seedlings per acre, including early successional shade intolerants as well as late successional shade tolerant species Plantings should result in an average of >300 trees/acre, preferably in a matrix of high stem density patches and gaps

19 Recommendations - high points Management: Management actions undertaken early in development of stands (e.g., circa year 15 post planting) 70-95% of the forest area be actively managed 35-50% of actively managed forest area meet DFCs

20 Recommendations - high points Management: Retention of a component of snag and stressed stems for cavity/deadwood Promote development of 2 to 4 dominant stems (average per acre) in the overstory canopy 5-30% of the landscape, representing broad forest types, be passively managed

21 Recommendations - high points Monitoring Extensive inventories of forest within local landscapes (e.g., WMA or Refuge) to assess habitat conditions and aide in formulating silvicultural treatments Design and implement coordinated monitoring program to evaluate wildlife use of forest stands following prescribed treatments (allowing exchange of data across political boundaries) Establishment of a long-term, permanent monitoring plot system (e.g., continuous forest inventory)

22 Reviewers The Forest Resource Conservation Working Group SEAFWA - Forest Resources Technical Committee Southeastern Partners In Flight Southern Group of State Foresters – AFC, TDF, MoDC DU Southern Regional Office Black Bear Conservation Committee National Council for Air and Stream Improvement TNC Arkansas Mississippi Bat Working Group NRCS

23 The Next Steps Management Board Approval (Randy) Publication of Report –LDWF graphics staff preparing the report for the printer –USDA FS Forest Stewardship Program providing funding for printing Implementation in the MAV (Randy)


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