The Ohio Chapter weighs in on Forest Managment in Wayne National Forest

In a recent blog post, we highlighted the Ohio Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers participation in the Wayne National Forest's Forest Plan Revision process - it is a lengthy process of massive scope and impact.  Additionally, the Ohio BHA board has been active in engaging with other more specific comment periods for certain proposed forestry projects.  The below letter speaks to the Marietta-Athens Pine Project.  It goes without saying that not all forests are created equal.  Unfortunately, and while that is true, far too much of the Wayne National Forest is homogeneous in terms of forest age, structure, and benefits to wildlife.  If you are a wildlife species that favors mature oak-hickory forest, you're in luck.  But if you're just about anything else, say a ruffed grouse that requires conditions ranging from early successional brushy cover to young forest stands and also some mature forest, the Wayne is not currently a hospitable place to call home.  To quote one sentence of the letter below - "With desperate need for early successional habitat and younger forest stands on Wayne National Forest (less than 0.1% of forests are <10 years old!!), we support the clearcutting of white pine stands in order to address those crucial needs."  The Marietta-Athens Pine Project is a great opportunity for the Forest Service to conduct active forest management, create early successional habitat through even-aged harvest methods, and provide some of those conditions that the Forest so badly needs.  Ohio Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is pleased with the Wayne National Forest's recent commitment to more active forest management, and we are hopeful that the evolving Forest Plan Revision that will set the broader course into the future includes more of the same.

 

 

 

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