"Building a Healthy Forest for Today and the Future" ~ Maintaining Healthy Forests
~ A Beaver Ponds Principal Program ~
Since the early 1900’s forest fires have been suppressed as soon after ignition as possible. The long term effects of fire reduction have created forests that are more susceptible to fire damage and insect infestations. At Beaver Ponds we are actively managing ten acres of forest that is “over stocked” due to the fire exclusion. By managing the forest, we are creating timber stands that are less susceptible to fire damage and have increased tree vigor which helps deter insect infestations. More in-depth information follows below. For more information on the Beaver Ponds Principal Programs, click here.
Lodgepole Pine Fire Mitigation Stand Wildlife Tree
Forestry is concerned with managing and conserving forests in regard to age, structure, composition, function, vigor, and resilience. It also preserves ecosystem and biodiversity.
Aldo Leopold once wrote that “health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal.” A healthy, resilient forest has several common characteristics. It supports many different species and allows plenty of space between trees so they don't have to fight for nutrients and water. It is structurally complex, meaning the trees are a variety of sizes and ages, and it supports the presence of a variety of under-story plants and shrubs.
At Beaver Ponds, we manage the health of our forest via a state approved forest management plan. The plan illustrates how to maintain a healthy forest while helping preserve ecosystems throughout Sacramento Creek Ranch.
As part of the plan, a certified forester took inventory of the density and types of species of our forest. The certified forester also helped establish six 2- to 3-acre fire mitigation stands at the east end of the Beaver Ponds property.
He recommended reducing the amount of overstocked lodgepole pine, removing most of the standing dead trees and removing "ladder fuels" to prevent a ground fire from moving into the canopy of the remaining trees.
Since 2014, we have annually treated each of the six fire mitigation stands to reduce fire risk. We will monitor the trees and the under-story plants to see how they respond to fire mitigation treatment.
As part of healthy ecosystem maintenance, some standing dead trees are intentionally left for wildlife habitat. The wildlife trees are used by birds, small mammals, and other wildlife for nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting, and perching. In addition, beneficial parasitic insects and cavity nesting bees use dead standing trees as their home.