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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: With the ruffled grouses
The snarky remark was aimed at me since I dare to challenge and ask questions on what we're being told.
Back to habitat, I was just looking at recent bids, and the lowest number of bids I've seen is 3, with some projects getting 6+ bids. So there seems to be ample timber companies looking for work at this time. Now the question for when there are no bids, is the GC setting a minimum bid price? And if so, is it to high in some cases? Must there be a minimum, as it seems there is no problem getting qualified bids. And looking at the logging going on around my house on private and SF lands, there are plenty of willing loggers.
Now looking at some of the current projects up for bid and some that have closed, I see one project of 200 acres on a GL that has been sorely neglected since its prime days in the early 90's. Most of the project is a thinning project, I don't see this as providing the stem density to be considered ESH habitat, as the over story will prevent a lot of new growth of trees or a lower shrub layer. No idea if this is the final cut, or if they will come in later after getting desired growth and cut the rest of the trees.
Another interesting project near me has a shelterwood cut along with 4 sections of single/group cut. Most times I have found shelterwood cuts used to regenerate a certain type of trees, while suppressing others. Which is fine if they come in and finish the shelterwood cut in a few years. The single/group cut will be interesting, this is the first I've seen it listed, and luckily it is close enough to keep track of. It will be interesting to see if this provides good stem density, as there is a small grouse population there that could take off with the right habitat. I seldom hunt it, but use it for dog work as it gets me out of rattler territory.
Another question with shelterwood, thinning cuts that still hasn't been answered, are they counted twice? While they have the potential to keep a cut in prime grouse habitat longer if the initial cut provides good stem density, it doesn't add to the total acreage of ESH.
And last but not least, a big worry for me is the spraying off of the shrub layer in preparation of a cut. Why? If there is no shrub layer when the cut his prime age around 8 years, there will be no grouse using it. Unless its invasive vegetation, it should be left alone. I have found many cuts that have a bare floor and thus no grouse. Much of this can be attributed to the excessive deer population we've had for years that ate everything to the ground any chance they had, leaving nothing in the soil back to regenerate once the timber is cut. A shrub layer is necessary habitat beside trees for all species of animals, to remove it just to grow certain types of trees is not sound wildlife management.
Plenty of scouting and good habitat makes for a great hunt.