The regional conservation agency allows limited sustainable logging of hardwood and softwood timber every year on the forested lands it manages in the South Nation River watershed. The practice is part of the South Nation Conservation Authority’s (SNC) long-term management plan for forested areas to protect wildlife habitats, allow new trees to grow, and help support the local economy.
Not all forested areas are included as part of the SNC’s sustainable harvest program. Some areas are left for natural growth and decay without any human interference.
“But sustainable tree harvesting can emulate natural disturbance patterns to create sufficient habitat for a full range of species,” stated Pat Piitz, SNC forester, “which is extremely important as we’ve seen a decline in forest cover across the local landscape, and timber just so happens to be the by-product which meets the economic needs of society.”
The SNC harvesting formula provides for 10 dead trees, 10 fruit or nut trees, and 10 “cavity” trees within every hectare of forest. The dead trees serve the needs of some birds like woodpeckers as sources of insects for food, while the “cavity” trees provide homes for birds like owls or small animals like squirrels. Controlled harvesting also provides ground cover debris like sawdust, broken bits of bark, and small twigs and branches that serves the needs of some animals and later decomposes to forest duff and help fertilize the soil.
Tender calls for hardwood and softwood cutting areas are now posted on the SNC website at www.nation.on.ca.