Silviculture and Wildlife for Timberland Owners

Foresters examine new strategies to enhance wildlife habitat
Several people discussing while standing among trees and grass

A group of natural resources organizations partnered to host a recent workshop for landowners and natural resources professionals in Carroll. There, they discussed the importance of forest management and silviculture strategies specifically designed to enhance wildlife habitat.  Ray Berthiaume of Wagner Forest Management explained the benefits of the area regulation technique being implemented on lands he manages for a client. The property toured during the workshop is part of a several-thousand-acre forest that has been divided into 5-7 acre blocks. Seven years ago, 20 percent of the blocks were harvested and another 20 percent will be harvested this coming winter. That process will continue at regular intervals in perpetuity, with the first set of blocks harvested again in about 50 years. This system maximizes age diversity, important to many wildlife species while providing a sustained yield of forest products.

A picture of Jon Lanier
John Lanier

Wildlife Biologist, John Lanier described results of research done after the first round of area regulation harvests. That research revealed a steady and dramatic increase in breeding activity of American Woodcock. This migratory bird species is listed as a "species of greatest conservation need" (SGCN) in New Hampshire. The research also demonstrated that at least seven other SGCN bird species are benefiting from area regulation techniques implemented on this property.

Several people walking down a trail and talking
Brendan Prusik (left), and Frosty Sobetzer (right) discuss matters as they walk down the trail.

UNH Extension forester Brendan Prusik described a new tool that assists landowners and natural resources professionals in making decisions to enhance wildlife breeding habitats based on soil characteristics. Dirt to Trees to Wildlife was conceived by John Lanier and developed with support from UNH Cooperative Extension, The Randolph Community Forest, NH Granit and US Forest Service.

Steve Gaines of NH Timberland Owners Association coordinated the workshop and updated participants regarding current legislation affecting the forest industry.

Want to know more? Contact your County Forester.