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Welcome summer with a solstice morning hike up “Hill 71”. Jim and Ed Merzenich invite you to join them for a casual discussion about reforestation, invasive weed control, and both oak and prairie restoration. We will walk two miles on uneven ground with an 800 foot elevation gain. The stunning view of the valley from the top is worth the effort.
Please come dressed for the weather of the day with sturdy boots, sunscreen, water and personal snacks and masks in case needed. Drinks will be provided for a sack lunch on the top. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Brownsville turn south on Washburn street (Gap road) at the Union 76 station. Travel ~5 miles and turn left (east) on Northernwood. After the road turns to gravel go through the left gate which climbs to our parking area.
- 09:15 Regeneration Harvest Unit: Prior to treatment this area contained 60-year-old Douglas fir mixed with maple and oak. Many trees were stressed due to drought and there was significant blowdown. Douglas fir trees were replanted on better sites and Incense cedar in areas with shallow rocky soils. We tubed and spot sprayed around each seedling, sprayed blackberries and thistles, clipped and pulled scotch broom, and treated maple sprouts. The trees and native shrubs are now free-to-grow.
- 10:00 Oak Restoration: Approximately 12 truckloads of Douglas fir and grand fir were removed to restore the oak. Most conifers do not grow well on these wet and poorly-drained sites. Follow-up treatments included mowing and spraying blackberries and black thorn and planting native grasses and forbs in disturbed areas. Non-native grasses still dominate the understory.
- 10:30 Wet prairie, ponderosa pine plantation, and classic savannah oak: This wet prairie was initially planted to pine but most seedlings died. Ponderosa pine grows on the better drained sites which are still too wet in the winter and dry in the summer for fir.
- 11:00 Big meadow (joint BLM/Oakbasin): We will discuss treatments to restore the upland prairie habitat including the control of invasive weeds, corridor creation between meadows, and prescribed fire.
- 11:30 Lupine management (private vs public management): We will view and discuss the management of lupine stands and nectar species essential for the butterflies and discuss the cultural importance of restoration as we view the Kalapuya “spirit” tree.
- 12:00 Sack lunch site and valley viewpoint.