Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Management Plan for Beta Area

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This map is the area for the Beta group management plan. The area consist of 39 acres, which is located in the Waynesboro Watershed. Beta area is stratifed into two areas due to the one area being clearcut. THe one area is 22 acres and that is the area of larger timber. 17 acres consist of the clearcut section on the stand. There is an old logging road present in the stand. In the Beta area we decided to manage for wild turkey,white-tailed deer,water,timber,and recreation. There are three different soils found on the 39 acres. The tyes of soils are two types of Edgemont and one type of Codorous. The crew also conducted an erosion and sedimentation plan along with all the permits required. The roads will be retired after the cut is completed and will be planted for wildlife to benefit from. The total timber prices is just over $62,000. Total board foot for the stand is 215,000 for sawtimber and 1,000 tons for pulpwood. We decided to do a crop tree management plan on the 17 acre clearcut; and a shelterwood cut on the 22 acre stand.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dr. Finleys' Speech

On April 10, 2008 Dr. Finley spoke at Penn State Mont Alto Pennsylvania, about high grading, parcelization and oak regeneration.
High grading is a logger’s candy land and landowners’ worst nightmare. In Pennsylvania 69% of the land is private and 31% is public. There are approximately 744,500 forest landowners averaging 16 acres of forest. 48% landowners’ harvested firewood from there land. High grading their land at 49.9% said that they cut most of the larger trees. Only 20% of landowners’ used a forester to manage their land. High grading will destroy the forest because it takes away all the main trees for regeneration. Most people use their land for recreation, hunting, and watching wildlife. This article talks about how it is like stealing from the landowner when high grading. http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=ed984027-7e94-491e-984c-26897ac479e2
Dr. Finley stated “Most people say that they want to give their land to more than one child.” Doing this will create parcelization by dividing the forest up and some of the children will develop the land. Also with parcelization brings in invasive plants to the area. Invasive plants create problems in areas where certain trees are not wanted. This article states the effects on parcelization. http://www.forestry.auburn.edu/zhang/RefereedPub/JoF2001.pdf

Lastly, Dr. Finley presented information about oak regeneration. There are two main problems with oak regeneration, deer browsing and ferns over growing the oaks. Dr. Finley talked about stump sprouts being the key to the natural regeneration process. Also showed pictures of an area fenced and the area not fenced discussing the amount of regeneration inside the fence. Outside the fence where the deer are there is no regeneration present. Dr. Finley talked about how ferns take away the light that is needed for oaks to regenerate. The website below is Dr. Finley’s site on his study of regeneration.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Allegheny Chapter of Society of American Forester’s Conference

On February 14, 2008, as part of the Allegheny Chapter of Society of American Forester’s conference, I had the opportunity to listen to John Quigley of DCNR speak about PA’s Bioenergy and Carbon sequestration programs. In addition, Mr. Paul Roth spoke about carbon credits and Dr. Charles Ray of Penn State University spoke about the growing opportunity of bioenergy. According to Mr. Quigley, Pennsylvania is currently emitting 1% of the world’s pollution and is ranked third in the US for emissions pollution, which affects global warming. The key issues are the carbon trading (what does carbon look like, geoloycte sequestration (getting carbon out of smoke stacks to the underground), inventory resources, and testrial sequestrations (growing trees to get carbon out of air, using wood products). The market is rushing to find new biofuels with coal increasing 50%. By the year 2020, PA hopes to have 10% of its gas as ethanol and 20% of diesel and by 2022 the goal is 15% biofuel content. According to Mr. Quigley, using corn as a source of ethanol is a losing plan due to costs. There are three companies looking at wood and its byproducts as a source of fuel. There is an estimated waste of 6 million tons of wood each year that could be reused as fuel. Mr. Roth indicated that the trade commodity for forest landowners will be impacted. It is important to know that PA produces 320 million tons of carbon annually. All carbon trading in North America flows through one single company, the Chicago Climate Exchange. Dr. Ray discussed the biomass tree species as poplar, willow, sycamore, American chestnut and noted that a large volume of wood 200,000 – 500,000 tons of wood per year would be needed. Operations involving pulp require single species and strict chip specifications. Trees act as our solar panels. The speakers were very informative, knowledgeable and extremely supportive of their respective topic. They discussed several of my original findings regarding PA’s bioenergy efforts, such as the high cost of corn for ethanol, the use hardwoods as fuel sources, wood wastes, sawdust, wood chips, and the use of poplar, sycamore, American chestnut, and willows as good candidates for carbon sequestration to reduce greenhouse gases. If fast growing species for short rotation tree crops, are chosen as fuel sources new forestry jobs will be created. However, we must be diligent in the effort to not wipe out too many trees at any given time. Further study of using waste products of animals and trees seems worthy. We would encounter a win-win situation as we would lower our wastes dumped in landfills while having new products and lower dependence on foreign oil.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pennsylvania’s Approach to Bioenergy/Ecosystem Services (Carbon sequestration)

Pennsylvania is actively involved in the development and research of alternative products for renewable energy fuels and carbon sequestration. The end result is better fuels without the dependence on foreign oil. Fuel gas, liquid fuels, and the production of steam and electricity are the goals. The efforts in Pennsylvania stem from farm crops, to wood products, and animal by-products (proteins, tissues, bones, fat, and manure). Many people are aware of the efforts to use corn as a source of ethanol production. On the other hand, few people know that in addition to corn, soybeans, canola, rapeseed, and crop residue are other plants being considered and tested for fuel production. From a forester’s perspective, hardwoods, grasses such as switchgrass, wood wastes, sawdust, wood chips, and the noxious weed known as tree-of-heaven are a few woody products being researched. Hybrid and yellow-poplar, sycamore, American chestnut, and willows are several trees being considered as good candidates for carbon sequestration to reduce greenhouse gases. From a natural resources professional’s point of view, these efforts can enhance our forest lands. As trees are utilized for energy, pests and diseases can possibly be reduced or eliminated, waste products from wood production will no longer be hauled to landfills, forests can be thinned to allow for new growth, and perhaps controlled burning operations can be reduced. Since some controlled burnings result in uncontrolled fires, using wood as the basis for additional fuel source is a positive step in eliminating the possibility of fire losses. These efforts will surely impact the forest industry as new businesses and opportunities will arise.