It’s okay to geek out now and then, and this is one of those times.
The Forest that we love most to ride in is Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Few focus on what Demonstration really means as they ride through the woods. In a few words, CalFire’s JDSF is demonstrating different forest management techniques. JDSF is the largest State Demonstration Forest, at just over 48,000 acres. And it has some of the most intricate and long-standing research and study plots of the whole system.
Highly regarded in the research community, one of the nuggets we just learned about is the Lindquist Pre-Commercial Thinning Study Site (PCT). JDSF researchers are studying the response of a third growth redwood/Douglas-fir stand to different thinning regimes that were performed in 1981, when the trees in this third-growth stand was 19 years old.
You know Old Growth; there’s little of that around. To compare what second-growth (trees that grew after the Old Growth trees were clear cut in the late 1800s) feels like compared to third-growth stand (trees that grew after the second-growth trees were clearcut), think of the big trees down in the valley of The Woodlands, along Marsh Trail. Those are second-growth. When you walk (can’t ride through at this time, not groomed for riding) through the PCT, you will pass through several different densities of redwood stands: plots ranging from 100- to 300-trees per acre. The woods surrounding the PCT are the control, not having been treated to any thinning regime in 1981.
JDSF is studying the growth rate of the redwoods and Douglas firs in these various thinning areas. Think of how big your lettuce is when you thin out the other heads in the row. It’s the same thing. More space between trees means more room to grow.
But, does that make for a better stand of harvestable and marketable timber? Follow the study to learn more.
Just more to think about when you’re experiencing these complexly managed woods.