Butterflies    Clouds & Sky
   Plant Life





Forestland Strategies and Practices

1.      Create shaded fuel breaks around the perimeter of the ranch to slow the spread of fire, particularly fire originating outside the ranch.  Thin trees in these areas to create 14-15 foot distances between them.

2.      Reduce fuels and thin trees in common areas near homes to slow the spread of fire and improve aesthetics.

3.      Promptly remove diseased and insect-infested trees to limit the spread of these problems.  Lodgepoles infested with pine bark beetles should be  removed in May because the beetles move on to untouched trees in June through through September.

4.      Remove most dead and down wood from all wooded areas to reduce fuel and limit the spread of insects and diseases.

5.      Thin trees in less visible areas (e.g. the center of Stand VI) to create 9-10 foot distances between them. 

6.      Require owners to trim trees and reduce fuels on their individual lots.  Per the CC&R’s, “The Association may require the pruning, cutting or spraying of trees, at the Owner’s cost, for the health and safety of Vandevert Ranch or for purposes of reducing fire risk or to protect explicit view easements.”  Oregon SB 360 provides a certain reduction in liability for spreading fires for individual lot owners gaining certification that they have reduced fire risk on their properties.  (See Government Impact.) 

7.      Salvage tree trunks and some branches for firewood, fence rails, and other uses on the ranch. 

8.      Log Chipper Gather debris from trimming and brush cutting.  Place in large brush piles or remove to the burn pile.  Prior to 2007/2008 this debris was burned after the first snowfall.  In the spring of 2008 began contracting with Roseburg Forest Products to bring trucks and equipment on the ranch, chip the brush piles (see photo), and remove the debris to be used as biofuel in the boilers Roseburg uses to make steam in the manufacture of paper and other wood products.  The shredded debris, known as “hog fuel” is not clean enough to make into paper or other products.  There is no charge for this service.

9.      Mow shaded fuel breaks to keep down tree seedlings, bitterbrush, and grass.  The ranch currently uses its pasture mower but plans to build a smaller mower to go on a hydraulically controlled stinger on the front of the tractor.  This will allow the tractor to be driven forward rather than backward while mowing and will make it easier to maneuver around trees.  As with the pasture mower, the blades will be hinged to fold back when they hit something solid.

10.  Plant ponderosas throughout the ranch because they are more fire and disease resistant than lodgepoles, longer-lived, and more attractive.  The ranch foreman estimates there is room to plant about 10,000 ponderosa seedlings.

11.  Leave scattered quarter-acre stands of un-thinned trees that deer and elk prefer to bed down in.  For example, the area between the wood shed and the mare pasture.

12.  Cooperate with ranch neighbors and with regional communities to promote healthy forests and reduce the risk of fire, particularly through governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations such as the Upper Deschutes River Coalition. 

The Silvopasture Option

Pasturing cattle in some of the woodlands would benefit the woodlands and wildlife (deer and elk).  It would also provide incremental revenue for the ranch.  The cattle would stimulate the growth of grass in the woodlands by keeping the grass cropped.  They would reduce the fire danger by browsing the bitterbrush and would reduce weeds by helping the grass out-compete them.  The green shoots sprouting from grazed grass would be especially attractive to deer and elk.  Cattle will not browse the needles or seedlings of ponderosa or lodgepole.  The bark of these conifers is tough enough to withstand their rubbing against it.   

The ranch has decided not to pursue this practice so far because of concerns about flies and smells that accompany cattle.  Nonetheless, it may be worthwhile experimenting with silvopasture in areas of the ranch furthest from homes.  

The best silvopasture practice would be to lease out grazing rights for selected areas to a herd owner – probably for a few weeks in May and a few weeks in September.  The ranch would want cows without calves because the calves are likely to get through the wire fences or get stuck in the buck and rail.  Corrientes cattle might be the best breed because they are easy to handle.

The ideal place to start would be the southwest corner of the ranch in Stand V after more fuels reduction is done and a gate is added by the western berm.  Stand VI (north of the pasture) is already fenced to accommodate this grazing and could be used after further fuels reduction.  Stand III, between the south access road and South Century, would be ideal for rotational grazing but may be unacceptably close to residences.  Rotational grazing optimizes the use of the land by separating small grazing areas with electric fences and getting the cattle to thoroughly graze one area before moving on to the next. 

Continue to Forestland Plans
Return to Stewardship Plan Table of Contents


Copyright 2004-2010 The Vandevert Ranch Association Neither the Association nor its members guarantees the accuracy or completeness of information or representations on this Web Site. Buyers should obtain definitive information from their real estate agent.