By Stephen Fitzgerald, OSU Research Forests Director and Extension Silviculture Specialist, and Amy Grotta, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties
Management activities are underway at the Rubie P. Matteson Demonstration Forest near Hagg Lake. As any new property owner can attest, the first year of property management entails a mix of addressing immediate needs and thinking about longer-term goals and plans. This year, our activities are focused on mapping, inventory and rehabilitation as well as readying the property for public use. Below is a summary of recent and ongoing projects on the forest.
Last summer, we began walking the property lines to look for and flag old survey markers and corners. We found some old stakes and traces of blazes on trees and re-marked them to assist future surveyors. We will be doing a property line survey (with new blazes) in 2016-17.
Last fall, roadside spraying occurred along the main road into the property to control invasive plants. Backpack site preparation spraying was also done in three areas totaling 11 acres that had been harvested prior to OSU ownership.
These three harvest areas were replanted this winter as the reforestation success prior to OSU ownership was poor.
We hired OSU forestry student Corey Thompson to help with our forest inventory. Corey is from Clatskanie and has previously worked in his family’s logging business. Corey designed an inventory grid and this spring and summer has been out at the forest establishing plot centers. Inventory data collection will follow.
A parking lot will be constructed this summer. The purpose is to provide parking for tours and classes and to keep vehicles in the parking area to avoid transporting invasive weed seed into and from the property. For the parking area we are making use of a small patch cut (harvested prior to OSU ownership) located just inside the main gate. The parking lot will include putting down fabric and rock.
Looking ahead to 2017, we would like to do a cut-to-length thinning in the 30-year-old plantations which comprise about 1/3 of the property. We intend to demonstrate various spacings and thinning intensities in this area. We will be using the inventory data collected this year to help design our thinning prescriptions. We’ll share that plan as it comes together in a future blog.