Timber Harvest at Two Rivers Wildlife Preserve
11/1/2017 – SELT is excited to share that we are about to begin a timber harvest on the 72-acre Two Rivers Wildlife Preserve. This property, located on Dimond Hill Road in Epping, is owned by SELT. Like most timber harvests done on SELT lands, this harvest is being done primarily to enhance wildlife habitat on the property.
Before we acquired this property from the Sewall Family in 2005, it was an active sand and gravel pit. You might be surprised to learn that old sand and gravel pits can become ideal wildlife habitat. Because the soils in these areas tend to have few nutrients, plants grow very slowly, allowing them to stay in a young forest or shrubland stage for a long time. Young forests and shrublands are used by over 100 species of wildlife, but these important habitats have become increasingly rare in New Hampshire, and most of the wildlife species that rely on these habitats have shown significant population declines.
At Two Rivers Wildlife Preserve, much of the areas that were once young forest or shrublands, have now grown into older forests (about 20 years old) that no longer benefit the wildlife that require these dense habitats. We will clearcut an area of forest that contains primarily birch and aspen and allow it to regrow into dense young trees, shrubs, and brambles. Our hope is that this dense habitat will attract song birds that nest in young forest habitats such as chestnut-sided warblers, common yellowthroats, eastern towhees, and indigo buntings. We hope it will create areas for black racer snakes to find prey and bask in sunny openings, for turtles to nest in sandy soils, and for white-tailed deer to bed down or hide their fawns.
Next year we plan to make repairs to the road frontage along Dimond Hill Road and restore a 3 to 5 acre grassy field along the road. If all goes according to plan, that section of the property will then be mowed by a tractor in the late fall every 2-3 years. In the long term, we’ll manage the area clearcut this year by mowing it at 5-10 year intervals using a larger machine that grinds small trees to the ground, called a bronotosaurus. You can see an example of other work SELT has done using a brontosaurus to enhance young forest habitat at the Tucker French Family Forest in this video.
If you are interested in learning more about the importance of young forest habitats and the wildlife species that rely on them, please visit www.YoungForest.org. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions about this timber harvest. You can also contact SELT at 603-778-6088.