Restoring Our Forests to Health

When we purchased parcels from the Ueland Tree Farm, we knew that we would have to do work to ensure that the forests on the land were restored to health. The main issue on those parcels is “overstocking,” which means the trees are so close together they are competing for critical resources like sun and water. This puts stress on the trees and makes them more susceptible to disease. It also increases dry fuels that would make a wildfire devastating.

Looking up to a whole bunch of trees. Can't even see the tops of them. Can see a little blue sky between them. A ton of ferns and bushes all around them on the ground

The Foundation will begin the work of thinning trees on 17.5 acres on the former Ueland Tree Farm parcels next year using $8,335 that we received from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This will help move forestland to a late seral diverse species habitat. Unhealthy trees we thin from the stands will be used to create wildlife habitat piles to support a more diverse ecosystem and ensure that we use those natural resources in a way that continues to improve the overall health of the Preserve.

Additionally, this year we have also installed bird boxes in areas that lacked natural habitat as part of the same USDA program. All of this work aligns with our core value of protecting and restoring the Preserve for the community, for our student visitors, and for the environment.

– Jeff Wirtz, President