Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hopkins Demonstration Forest

Date of Visit: July 17, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip 
Organization: Hopkins Demonstration Forest
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Hosts: Peter Matzca/ Hopkins Forest Educator
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Dona Ye / Intern from China

This day we went on a tour of a demonstration forest located in the outskirts of Portland. This 140 acres of forest tries to mimic the decisions that small forest land owners have to make to have a financially sustainable operation.

We observed different management practices side to side: even age, uneven age, thinning.
We learned that:
  • Thinning can expose forests to abiotic damage.
  • Abiotic factors can be the most damaging to a forest, i.a. snow can snap tops, freeze can kill trees, and wind.
  • Stand Density Index (SDI) is the relationship of the sizes of the trees and the amount of trees per area, this relationship helps identify when is the optimal time for thinning to reduce density, and tree competition. 
  • Alder and Pine like wet places and are good for root rot replacement species.
  • Ponderosa Pine has a more fire resistant bark than other species.

 International Fellow's Reflections:

Stuty Maskey from Nepal - Project / Use of Collaborative Governance to Manage Natural Resources
In economics Pareto Efficient is a state at which individuals maximize their utility. This simply means that this is the efficient allocation level and no individual can be better off without making some other person worse off, given that the resources are limited.

In forestry, Stand Density Index (SDI) is a measure of site potential for maximum density of trees so that there is efficient allocation of site’s resources (e.g. water, light, nutrient, space etc.). At higher densities, the growth rates of trees slow down because there are more trees competing for limited resources.

So, it is important to find the Pareto Optimal allocation or the SDI measure for a particular stand. The trip informed with site demonstration that more trees does not necessarily mean healthy forests. And that every site has a capacity of maximum number of trees, depending on the species and site specification. For healthy forests, it is important to maintain the SDI or else the high stress level will lead to tree mortality. So manage forests for healthy forests!

Sarita Lama from Nepal - Project / Understanding Forest Management Practices in the Pacific NW

A privately owned 140 acre forest donated to an NGO ‘Forest Forever” exhibits even and un-evenly ages forest management practice systems. Some of the patches shows how a forester needs to pay attention on the market and tree value while managing pole and timber stands. Similarly, some of the patches found managed additionally aiming to stabilize soil, manage watershed and wildlife habitat. Hence, this kind of forest plays vital role to educate people including forestry professional, general and students to understand the forestry practice in private forest with a forester which has clear vision, good forest management skill and high working intimacy.

Miguel Sanchez from Bolivia - Project /  Forest Nurseries
Education and natural resources are essential for a countries’ development. And educating people on the consequences of different natural resources management practices can help people understand big ideas like Climate Change.
The Hopkins Demonstration Forest is a place where all ages’ visitors have the opportunity to participate in natural resources management practices activities like reforestation and soil conservation. All practices are done by volunteers. We were able to observe different densities of plantation of different tree species.

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