Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

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johnspeth
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Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

Post by johnspeth » August 12th, 2019, 4:31 am

Yesterday I hiked to the top of Crescent Mountain near Tombstone Pass in Oregon and discovered hundreds of girdled trees along a half mile stretch of trail at the broad open slope of wildflowers near the top. The girdling was obviously intended to kill the trees. Some of the girdled trees were cut down. Many trees were pruned with the slash piles mixed with the black plastic film left behind. It's hardly what I expected to find on this trail and it's quite ugly. Does anybody know why this was done?

johnspeth
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Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

Post by johnspeth » August 12th, 2019, 9:47 am

The girdling had me bugged considerably since I saw it. I couldn't wait for the answer so I called the Sweet Home ranger office (the district in which Crescent Mtn is located). I got a prompt and helpful response from a Sweet Home ranger technician with a clearly justifiable reason:

He said:
I checked into your concern about the girdled trees along the trail and meadow area. Indeed it is a restoration project through that area and the plan is to ultimately reclaim the meadow area. These trees that are girdled and trimmed have encroached into the meadow area, and they will be doing a burn project in the fall or early next spring to help clean up the leftover debris. They are trying to maintain the historic boundary of the meadow. I hope this helps to understand the project and its purpose.
That meadow is huge, one of the biggest I've seen. And it's loaded with wildflowers for a good part of the snow free season. Hopefully the plan works. It's a positive sign that the FS will not turn it into a commercial tree cutting area.

BTW, I passed 9 bikers in 2 groups but I only saw 4 hikers. One bike pair I saw passed me twice going in the same direction both times.

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retired jerry
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Re: Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

Post by retired jerry » August 12th, 2019, 9:56 am

animals like deer like meadows

I have mixed feelings about humans managing things like this. In a way, we should just leave alone. We've screwed things up in the past.

On the other hand, if we're putting human development into wild habitat and restricting wildfires, maybe this is a way to mitigate

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drm
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Re: Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

Post by drm » August 13th, 2019, 10:00 am

I just want to give kudos for you deciding to make the simple effort of calling and asking.

I understand Jerry's question about managing, but as with how we fund trails and recreation, that is a larger question. As it is now, we do manage. And unless we are going to really stop putting wildfires out, this is how we save meadows. And in some cases - not sure about this one - huckleberry enhancement plays a role.

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retired jerry
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Re: Why are Crescent Mountain trees girdled?

Post by retired jerry » August 13th, 2019, 12:46 pm

huckleberries are good :)

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