Exploration & Discovery Cluster
I own an American Tree Farm with an active timber management plan. In Spring 2011, I began to do annual censuses of breeding birds in this forest and then laid out a harvest that resulted in 15 patch cuts from 1/3 of an acre to a full acre. In 2012 and 2013, a PSU grad student in the MS in Biology program under my advising did a two-year study that examined the impact of this harvest on three exemplary forest-interior species (hermit thrush, ovenbird and black-throated blue warbler) and also on the avian species diversity. Since the harvest in March of 2012, the bird community has been constantly censused at 30 point counts 150 meters apart. The results of our findings were consistent with what we had hoped: the small size of the patch cuts did not affect the three mature-forest species but did cause the average diversity per point count to increase by 5 species and this increase has persisted since the harvest. This approach has gained traction with the UNH Cooperative Extension Service and forestry workshops have been conducted (by me) on the tree farm every year since harvest. This results were just presented in a paper at the recent North American Ornithological Congress VI in Washington, DC in August, 2016.
Reitsma, Len, "Mindful Silviculture [Project Proposal]" (2016). Clusters. 534.