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An EQIP Forestry Initiative Success Story

Ontario County, NewYork

Camp J. Warren Cutler is owned by Boy Scouts of America and operated by the Seneca Waterways Council (SWC). The camp is predominantly forest land on 1,200 acres in the Ontario County towns of Soth Bristol and Naples. Historically, the land was not managed for timber, resulting in poor understory growth (Photo 1). Additionally, many of the timber stands are aged with some trees showing signs of decline and poor health. In 2010, a forest stewardship plan was prepared by a forester from Region 8 of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) at the Council's request. Among the plan’s recommendations was to stimulate forest regeneration. A forestry consultant was hired, and a low grade timber sale was conducted in 2011 to remove poor quality and unhealthy trees per the plan.

Click a photo for a larger view.

Poor understory growth at the Cutler Camp

Slash was intentionally left in place to deter deer browsing of tree seedlings An installed trail water bar A newly seeded trail
Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4

 

An Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Forestry Initiative application from the Seneca Waterways Council was selected for funding in 2012 for herbicide treatment of invasive and interfering vegetation, including Ironwood, Beech, Striped Maple, Honeysuckle and Multiflora Rose. Additionally, the application included trail drainage structures & seeding to address concentrated erosion occurring on moderate to steep trail slopes. Lastly, crop tree thinning of a total of 20 overstocked acres was included. Slash (limbs from thinned trees) was intentionally left in place to deter deer browsing of tree seedlings (Photo 2).

Photos 3 and 4 show an example of an installed trail water bar, and a seeded trail, respectively. These practices were completed in middle to late summer of 2013. The autumn of 2013 yielded a heavy crop of acorns resulting in the emergence of many oak seedlings within sprayed & slash-placement areas this spring (Photo 5).

A 2012 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Forestry with SWC included the following enhancements: creation of forest openings, (photo 6), shallow water habitat, (photo 7), and a total of 9.2 acres of riparian buffer, (photo 8). The riparian buffer included a 1,300 foot reach of Grimes Creek, a NYSDEC-classified trout stream. Through service projects, Boy Scouts installed the riparian buffer by removing invasive plants, planting over 200 native trees and shrubs and installing tree shelters.

A heavy crop of acorns resulting in the emergence of many oak seedlings

A forest opening created during the project A shallow water habitat Trees protected in a riparian buffer
Photo 5 Photo 6 Photo 7 Photo 8

 

Robert Wink, PhD, a professor in the Environmental Conservation & Horticulture Department at Finger Lakes Community College, is conducting a long-term study to study the effects on seedling composition and density of the EQIP herbicide application of the interfering vegetation. Additionally, the study will examine the long-term effect on seedling development and deer browsing intensity of various sizes and densities of the slash piles created by the crop tree thinning practice.