14th Annual Timber Harvest Tour
USU Forestry Extension cohosted the fourteenth annual Timber Harvest Tour on the Tavaputs Plateau, Utah….”
by Darren McAvoy, USU Forestry Extension Associate
Thursday, August 13, 2015
USU Forestry Extension co-hosted the fourteenth annual Timber Harvest Tour on the Tavaputs Plateau, Utah. Landowner Mike Siaperas of Range Valley Ranch helped to co-host the event and 46 people spent the day observing the results of the last five years of labor on the 600-acre property. Siaperas intends to shape the property into prime mule deer habitat where disabled youth can visit and hunt.
The final result is a carpet of aspen, many thousands of stems per acre
are sprouting up wherever he has done this treatment.
Siaperas’ methods for creating mule deer and wildlife habitats have evolved over time. Operating a bulldozer to improve wildlife habitat is how he spends his free time – and he enjoys every minute of it. Wildlife Biologist, Nicole Nielson with the Division of Wildlife Resources manages the adjacent Cold Spring Wildlife Management Area. She and Siaperas collaborate and modify their restoration efforts based on the lessons they’ve learned over time. To create the opportunity for aspen regrowth and regeneration, Siaperas uses a bulldozer to mechanically remove overgrown areas and a track hoe with a thumb to stack the debris for very efficient burn-ing later. The Timber Harvest Tour participants got a front-row view of their collaborative work.
And the results of their efforts look good. The final result is a carpet of aspen—many thousands of stems per acre are sprouting up wherever he has done this treatment.
Some of his first attempts did not fare so well, but he quickly learned to modify his methods for the best re-sults. For example, he found that the sweet spot for depth of the dozer blade to generate maximum aspen suckering was around 10 inches; too deep and roots are damaged, not deep enough and there Isn’t enough root stimulation to send them into vegetative suckering. The pyrolysis machine was in full operation for the tour. More can be read about that on page 1 of this newsletter. Co-hosts for the tour included the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, and the Inter-mountain Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.
Darren McAvoy, USU Forestry Extension Associate
Utah State University Forestry Extension, Utah Forest News, Vol. 19, No. 2