Wild Thyme Farm Visionary Forestry

Clearing the Forest Road System
When we first started to explore this forest back in 1988, it was young, overgrown and very difficult to get around. Over the years we discovered old logging roads throughout most of the forest. With the last major tree harvesting completed in the 1970s, most roads were obscured with alder trees about 15 years old.

Forest Roads

1:10 minute video about the rediscovery and clearing of Carbonata, one of the many forest roads.

QuickTime: Get it Here Free
This Quicktime movie is 9 MB.

Initially only a few key roads were opened up, but as we became more involved in forest management, it became necessary to revive more of the old logging roads for many reasons:
• Proper forest management requires accessibility - to assess storm damage, locate cull trees for harvesting and keep aware of what's happening there.
Roads must be wide enough to accomodate equipment for tree removal, fire control and easy maintenance. Established haul out roads minimize impact on the forest floor.
• Wildlife appreciates an unobstructed forest path as much as humans. Elk and deer use the road system to access favorite browsing and bedding grounds.

The roads provide additional edges to the ecosystem, a series of small clearings woven throughout the denser forest.
Clearing alder trees on a road
Occasionally we discover a road with many alder trees growing in the road bed. Instead of cutting them all down to open the road, we clear around then and use the road as a tree lined trail. In a decade or so, these alders will reach maturity and become optimum for harvesting for lumber.
Clearing a road
A. This roadway through the trees has been cleared of trees, logs and stumps.
B. A brush hog mows down brush, briars and weeds and flattens bumps.
C. The cleared road after the brush hog will display a grassy carpet within weeks.
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