Many years ago, ice storms destroyed several patches of our forest on Green River Preserve. Professional foresters recommended that we clear the damaged areas, which totaled over 125 acres, and replant in white pines. Today, when campers hike to Turkey Field, or walk the Bear Trail near base camp, they will see these “pine plantations” with their long straight rows of tall, tightly packed white pines. The plantations are quiet places of deep shade in which little can grow on the forest floor. Deer, turkey and other wildlife don’t particularly like the plantations. There is little to eat and few places to hide.
This spring, we “thinned” the 30 acre Turkey Field pine plantation. This means that one in every three pine trees was cut down and taken to a mill where it was “chipped” (cut into very small pieces) and converted into pulp for making paper. By removing these trees, more sun light is available to the remaining trees so they will become bigger and stronger. Also, sunlight now penetrates the deep shade and causes dormant seeds (seeds that were asleep and waiting for sunlight to wake them up) to sprout. With the young and tasty green shoots, deer, turkey and rabbits are moving in to enjoy the new “salad bar.” Isn’t it amazing how nature is so interconnected!
When campers come to Green River Preserve this summer, they will have a chance to learn more and see all of this first hand. Forest management, wildlife management, interconnectedness, all are daily subjects at GRP!