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Forestland Plans

This section recommends priorities for forest management over the next ten years and discusses the status and indicated work for each stand.  The Vandevert Ranch Association has not officially adopted these priorities or allocated the funds to execute them.  The plan should be adjusted as budgets and possible stresses on trees dictate.

Forestland Priorities

Recommended forest projects are listed below in priority order.

1.      Remove diseased and insect-infested trees that are in prominent locations or are so severely affected they are an imminent threat to other trees.

2.      Complete the shaded fuel break with trees 14-15 feet apart in Stand I east of South Century and north of Vandevert Road

3.      Complete the shaded fuel break (14-15 feet between trees) along the western fence in Stand VII

4.      Cut bitterbrush in Stand III, especially near corner of Hashknife and the South Access Road

5.      Selectively thin Stand III between South Century and the power line

6.      Thin the treed areas within the pasture (14-15 feet between trees)

7.      Thin Stand IV (between barn and river) with 10 foot distance between trees

8.      Thin the balance of Stand V (south of pasture) to 10 feet between trees

9.      Thin the balance of Stand VI (north of pasture) with 10 foot distance between trees

10.  Plant 1,000 ponderosa seedlings each year (first priority is the part of Stand III between the south access road and the power line.)

11.  Mow thinned areas every five years and re-thin after ten years

12.  (Optionally) Expand distance between trees to 14-15 feet where previously thinned to 10 feet

Summary of Resources and Management Recommendations by Stand

Stand I (East of South Century) – Pre-commercial and light commercial thinning of this even-aged stand were undertaken in March of 2008 to alleviate stand density and protect the stand from insect attack and crown fires.  Extreme care had to be taken since the stand is adjacent to South Century Drive.  The result is an attractive stand of lodgepole that is more insect resistant, provides a fuel break and should not require re-entry for 10 years.

Stand II (Immediately west of South Century, north of Vandevert/Homestead Road) -This stand was pre-commercially thinned in 1998 and needs to be re-thinned to protect it from insect attack.  Some bitterbrush needs to be removed to help with fuels reduction.  Since this stand is so visible from Schoolhouse Road, extreme care must be taken to retain the visual and noise buffers in place.  The portion of the stand adjacent to the schoolhouse could have some thinning done and the end result would be an almost pure stand of ponderosa.

Stand III (Immediately west of South Century, south of Vandevert/Homestead Road, east of South Access Road and Hashknife) - This is the best stand of timber on the Ranch.  The spacing is getting closer to ideal and the natural selection from insects and age thinning out the mature lodgepoles is leaving the more disease resistant and longer-lived ponderosa.  There is a nice young understory of naturally regenerated seedlings and saplings for natural replacement.  Some manual reforestation should be done with ponderosa to supplement the natural reseeding in some of the more open areas.  The portion west of the south access road was planted with containerized ponderosa stock in 2004.  Five year interval entries for pre-commercial thinning for species selection, disease prevention and fuels reduction should maintain this stand in very good order.  Most of the bitterbrush should be removed immediately.  Rodent control needs to be maintained on the newly planted seedlings for at least five years.

Stand IV (Between river and road to barn) - This is a naturally regenerated stand of young lodgepole with a few older lodgepole overstory trees.  There are a few scattered    ponderosa.  Dead fuels have been removed and inter-planting with ponderosa containerized stock was done in 2004.  Also in 2004, the oxbow and wetter areas were planted with hardwood species that did not survive.  This stand is in need of pre-commercial thinning for forest health and fire prevention. 

Stand V (South of pasture/southwest corner of ranch) - This is a naturally regenerated stand of lodgepole with a few scattered ponderosa.  After this stand was decimated by a beetle attack in the early 80’s, salvage logging was done.  The end result was a poor stand of overstory lodgepole and thick lodgepole reproduction.  Thick dead fuels covered the ground.  The overstory was prone to windthrow.  The dead fuels needed to be removed in conjunction with an extensive pre-commercial thinning operation to prevent disease, insect infestations and wildfire.  The per-acre cost to thin this stand and remove dead fuels is very high due to the concentration of fuels and the number of stems per acre to be removed.  Pre-commercial operations were started on the western perimeter in 2004 and the stand was much improved in 2007 through the work done by the La Pine High School Forestry Program.

Stand VI (North of pasture) - This stand is similar to stand number V but the acreage is larger.  This is a high priority area for fuels reduction considering the density of Oregon Water Wonderland development adjacent to the ranch and the prevailing winds coming from the direction of OWW during fire season.  Some pre-commercial thinning and fuels reduction was accomplished in 2004.  In 2007 the La Pine High School Forestry program began development of a 200 foot wide shaded fuel break along the ranch border.  The LPHSF program is expected to complete the portion of the fuel break within Stand VI in 2008. 

Stand VII (West of Hashknife Road) - This is a naturally regenerated multi-aged, two story stand of predominately lodgepoles with a few scattered ponderosa.  Prevailing winds and adjacent structure density make this area high priority for fuels reduction.  There is heavy rodent damage from both porcupines and grey squirrels.  The dead fuels have been removed and the first phase of pre-commercial thinning has been done on most of the stand.  Some bitterbrush has been removed.  The first priority should be to develop a shaded fuel break between the fire road and the western ranch border.  Hopefully some of this will be accomplished by the La Pine High School Forestry program in 2008.  More pre-commercial thinning, light commercial thinning and brush removal should be done soon throughout the stand to improve forest health and help protect the stand from insect invasions and wildfire. 

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