Graduate Project

 

A silvicultural prescription to promote long-term forest health, fire resiliency, and wildlife habitat in a central Oregon ponderosa pine stand Public Deposited

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  • The Tenino stand, located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation (WSIR) near Warm Springs, Oregon, is being considered for treatment that will promote long­term forest health, fire resiliency, and wildlife habitat. The management direction for this area is outlined in two WSIR documents: 1) Integrated Resources Management Plan for the Forested Area (CTWSIR 2001), and 2) Forest Management Implementation Plan (CTWSIR 2003). The stand is part of the wildlife land management zone and is allocated to the management of vegetation for the benefit of deer and elk. Timber harvesting is permitted with management practices directed toward the production of quality habitat for deer and elk. The stand is listed as part of management group 1 - ponderosa pine plant associations. This management group is one of the least productive on the WSIR with an estimated managed stand production potential of 200 board feet per acre per year (CTWSIR 2003). The Tenino stand is comprised of four smaller stands with the following identification numbers: 9050016, 9050086, 9050165, and 9050185. Presently the combined 83.2-acre stand is primarily ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) (30-120 years old) with excessive understory regeneration of pine. There are a few Douglas­fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis), and incense­cedar ( Calocedrus decurrens) scattered throughout. Some ponderosa pine is naturally regenerating in the openings. Areas of older regeneration are in clumps up to 2 acres in size. The other two components of the stand are sapling/pole and small saw-log groups. The stand has been harvested over several years (1923, 1942, 1960, 1986, and 1999) that removed most of the overstory ponderosa pine and left a dense understory of young, clumpy ponderosa pine. Damage caused by the western pine beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis), mountain pine beetle (D. ponderosae), and the pine engraver (fps pini), as well as injuries incurred during harvesting have affected many of the residual trees. Western dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium campylopodum) has also infected about 2% of the ponderosa pine. The stand has a relatively dense, young understory in clumps that are beginning to feel the effects of competition. The vertical structure is such that ladder fuels may cause a non-lethal fire to become catastrophic and stand replacing. The dense understory will continue to stagnate and create a major fire hazard if this stand is not treated.
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