Recently our Conservation Science Manager and I set out into one of the League-owned forests to map its trees. We wanted to know where the younger redwoods are located, in order to determine where a future landowner of the property can and cannot cut trees.
The importance of allowing for some carefully-planned tree harvesting is becoming more widely understood and accepted. Done sustainably and scientifically, it can greatly improve the overall health of the forest and protect it from wildfire.
With this in mind, we walked the entire forest, identifying areas to put into reserve (which means no trees would be cut in those areas) and areas where some harvesting would be allowed.
We follow three main criteria when identifying areas where some harvesting could be allowed:
- Areas dominated by younger redwoods (to allow for space between trees, thus promoting larger growth of the standing redwoods)
- Areas far enough away from streams (to avoid damage and sedimentation to streams)
- Areas with only a gentle slope (to avoid hillside erosion)
Now that we have mapped out the areas of the property to keep in reserve and areas that may allow for some cutting, we feel assured that this property will continue to provide healthy redwood forest habitat once we are no longer the landowners. And, we feel assured that we are fulfilling our mission to protect and restore redwood forests.