Selective Logging near Eden Valley Cabins to improve tree health.Winter was selected because there is less mark upon the ground from equipment and it is easier and cleaner for log removal.  Another benefit to winter logging is there is less wildlife and no bird babies to disturb.

 

We also needed to remove dying and dangerous trees away from the cabin area.  We also choose to increase a buffer around the cabins as one more defense from wildfire.  For such a small family already working seven days a week, this was an aggressive plan.  In addition to timber health, our desire was also to greatly improve our trail system and develop better rodent and rabbit habitat with limb and log piles. We are still working on phases of this project and probably will be for another five years.

We monitored owl calls before, during and after the logging operation, as we were concerned from environmental reports about owls disturbances. There were few variations with the immediate before and after.  There were owls that moved about 1/2 mile out of the disturbed areas during the operation and hooted their presence.  Within one year after the big equipment was gone, the owl presence seemed considerably greater judged by our observations and those of our birder guests.  Guests have been reporting listening to at least five varieties of owls between dusk and dawn.

Our limb and log piles were a big success with the squirrels.  We formerly saw one or two on an outing and that number became more like five or six after the project.  Our chipmunk population in the woods seems to fluctuate a little, but is always strong.  Occasional sightings of rabbits is always a topic for conversation.

Many wildlife species utilize the enhanced trail systems because it is easy and they conserve energy plus get where they wish to go faster.  Humans using the trails can see many types of tracks if they take time to look.  Our cows are lazy and also use the trails when they can.  You can see "multi-use trails" has a whole new meaning at Eden Valley Guest Ranch.

Controlling invasive species of weeds is a time consuming problem no matter the location.  Musk thistle, knapp weed and hounds tongue have become widely spread by wildlife.  These invasive plants will displace desired native species if left unchecked.