Fall 2008 Intro

Some selections from our current newsletter:

Watersheds…Protecting our vital resource

Marshwood Middle School Students to Monitor Sturgeon Creek Watershed

Riparian Buffers

Discovering The Savage Wildlife Preserve

Kenyon Hill Timber Harvest

Entire Fall 2008 issue of Great Works

Although most of our properties are forested, with many in the Tree Growth Program, we haven’t yet done much in the way of timber harvesting. This fall we hope to do a limited firewood timber harvest on our 96-acre Kenyon Hill property on Ogunquit Road in South Berwick.  Recently, Bob Eger and Darrell DeTour met on-site with Karl Dixon to discuss how such a harvest might work.

The details still need to be finalized, but we spoke with Karl about harvesting mostly oaks and red maples, using small tractors to pull the logs from the woods. Since there will be no large equipment involved the impact to the land will be minimal. Indeed, Dixon says, “When I get done, you won’t even know I was in here.”

Such a harvest will accomplish several goals at once.

First, it will fulfill our obligation under the State’s Tree Growth Program to conduct periodic timber management activities.

Second, this thinning will improve the overall quality of the stand by removing the lower-quality trees and help release higher-quality trees by reducing competition for light.

Third, it will provide additional cordwood into our regional wood products market and possibly generate some income for the Land Trust.

And fourth, it will increase our knowledge and experience in  conducting low-impact, sustainable forestry that we can apply to other Trust properties in the future.

Dixon suggested a trial run whereby he harvests a small portion of the property so that we can see how he operates, how it looks when he’s done, and whether the economics work. After all, everyone involved needs to make a living. He would cut enough to fill an 18-wheeler to be sold to a commercial firewood processor, plus enough so that GWRLT can offer “cut-your-own” cordwood to the community. After the initial run, if everyone is satisfied, he would continue and eventually move through the entire property. Trail

In addition to the timber harvest, two hikes have been scheduled on the Kenyon Hill property. The purpose of the first hike is to roughly establish a trail that takes in the property’s various interesting features – the cellar hole, the river, the cliffs, and, perhaps, areas in which timber has been harvested. During the second hike, the location of the trail would be finalized and actually cleared.

This trail could mesh well with the timber harvest by providing long-term educational opportunities. It would provide access to various parts of the property where people could clearly see the minimal impact of the harvesting operation as well as the improvements over time to the timber stand as a whole.

Darrell DeTour, Stewardship Coordinator