Certified Forests - Collins Lakeview Forest
Collins Lakeview Forest Public Summary of Managment Plan
Collins Lakeview Forest (CLF) timberlands are managed for sustained yield of high quality forest products consistent with a high level of societal, economic and environmental integrity.
Our objectives are to:
- Achieve sustained yield of high quality timber across the ownership.
- Maximize production of all forest products; consistent with sustainability.
- Provide economic return (benefit) to the stakeholders directly and indirectly involved with the ownership and operations of the lands.
- Provide leadership to bring about change in local and regional forest management.
The timberlands currently managed by the Lakeview operations consist of 48,000 acres in South-central Oregon and 30,000 acres in northern Modoc County, California.
This management plan for the Collins Lakeview Forest is based on the stewardship ethics and principles of the Collins Pine Company and the Collins family. This ethic is based upon a commitment to the health of the total forest ecosystem based upon adopted scientific and sustainable forestry and production practices. The production of wood will be only on a sustained, renewable basis; and provide social and economic benefits to the surrounding areas and communities. This management plan is a dynamic document, which should guide us well into the 21st century, consistent with the mission statement. The plan can and should be amended regularly, typically every five to ten years as well as when new information, technology and other opportunities become available.
See attached Map showing distribution of land base
The lands can be characterized as an eastside pine type. The climate of this type is characterized by a short growing season and minimal summer precipitation. Average annual precipitation is about 16 inches, with much of it falling as winter snow. Diurnal summer temperatures fluctuate widely, with hot days and cold nights. In many areas, frost may occur any night of the year. The months of July, August and September are very dry, with rainfall averaging less than 1⁄2 inch. Much of this summer rain is ineffective, as it usually comes during brief, high-intensity convection storms. Winter temperatures are generally low; as a result, snow often accumulates to considerable depths.
Logging, bark beetles, root diseases and fire are the major disturbances in the eastside pine type. The understory typical of the specific site increases following disturbance, depending on the nature of the disturbance, season in which it occurred and weather patterns. In general, disturbance favors brush, particularly manzanita and ceanothus. But some kinds of disturbance may eliminate antelope bitterbrush, a desirable deer forage plant that may not be as robust a competitor with trees as are some other shrubs. Open tree stands generally support more vigorous brush or grass understories which may prevent additional tree regeneration for many years. Fire tends to maintain pine stands on sites that will support other conifers. The following understory dominants may be used to identify different eastside pine communities: western juniper, manzanita, several species of ceanothus, big sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush, grass dominance and forb dominance.
The main plant association in this area is the Pinus ponderosa/Purshia tridentata association which has a Purshia dominated shrub layer superimposed on a variety of perennial grasses including Festuca idahoensis, caespitose Agropyron spicatum, Stipa comata and Aristida longiseta. In some stands, forbs such as Balsamorhiza sagittata and Erigeron compositus are abundant.
Eastside pine is moderately slow growing and long-lived. The time required for succession varies greatly depending on site, competition and seed source. The more severe sites within the type impose problems of reproduction and competition, so that stands may not necessarily reproduce themselves after disturbance, being replaced instead by forbs, grasses, brush or junipers.
The soils in this area include areas of immature regosolic soils. These Vitrandepts are developed in deposits of dacitic and rhyolitic pumice erupted from Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) and Newberry Crater, respectively. Thin A horizons have moderate to low organic matter content and grade into relatively un-weathered pumice sand and gravel. A finer texture buried soil is generally encountered at 1⁄2 to 3 meters.
The predominant commercial species on the lands are ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and white fir (Abies concolor) with minor amounts of sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), western white pine (Pinus monticola), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens). Non-Commercial tree species include aspen (Populus tremuloides) and western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). Brush species include minor amounts of Klamath plum (Prunus subcordata), deer brush (Ceanothus intergerrimus), squawcarpet (Ceanothus prostratus), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolus), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and gray rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus).
The following table is a list of the major tracts of land and an estimate of forested and non-forested acres of each tract.
|Tract Name||Total Acres||Forested||Non-Forested|
Approximately 95 percent of the adjacent landownership is federal in nature, with the majority of that being the US Forest Service. Most of this land can be characterized by a passive management objective and becomes active when wildfire strikes the area.
Vegetation Management (Silvicultural) Methods
The three tracts which comprise the CLF lands in southeast Oregon and northeast California differ considerably in their structure and composition. While similar in that all three are associated with the Pacific Northwest eastside pine type, each has very distinct characteristics specific to themselves. These characteristics have developed over time based largely on harvest practices of prior owners, natural occurrences such as fire or lack of, and climatic events such as prolonged drought. As a result of the unique nature of each tract, each has specific and often different management needs. No single vegetation management method or silvicultural system can be applied to our lands on a broad landscape level. Further, some of these same past natural occurrences continue to change the face of our lands and, thus, the management systems that should be applied to them. While our emphasis may be on the use of uneven-age system, wherever applicable to promote sustainability and health of our forest resources, the even-age system will be evaluated and utilized, as necessary, consistent with sustainability.
Thinnings will be employed throughout Collins Lakeview Forest lands. Our use and definition of thinnings is individual tree selection where the timber is removed either as single scattered trees or, more often, in small groups if necessary to ensure that enough trees of needed age classes are free to grow. This practice is employed on nearly 100 percent of the ground, through pre-commercial thinnings, commercial chipwood thinnings and or thinnings from below. We feel that this is the best way to approach the proper management of the pine/fir forest type. Our objective in thinning stands is to reduce the basal area to the range of 80 to 120 ft2 /Acre. Increment bore samples taken from all three of the CLF tracts, as well as growth information included in the Fremont National Forest’s Forest Plan has given us the basis for this basal area range. By leaving the stands in this condition, we will have opened up the canopy for light to infiltrate to the forest floor, reduce the competition for water (our most limiting resource in this area) and transfer the stand growth to the remaining trees.
Fire suppression over the past 75 years as well as some past harvest practices have promoted, in general, a condition in which two or three age or size classes exist on much of the land base. Additionally, many acres have upwards of 500 stems per acre of 3-5 inch dbh (diameter at breast height) trees. Along with this heavily stocked condition, establishment of the tolerant white fir has been prolific. Stands which were once predominately ponderosa pine are now equally mixed and sometimes over-run by white fir. White fir, while being shade tolerant, is not drought tolerant and therefore extremely susceptible to mortality brought about by stress related to drought and the ensuing Scolytus ventralis (fir engraver) beetle infestations. Further, the heavily stocked condition has made an impact upon the ponderosa pine. We are seeing increased incidence of vigor-related problems such as a decrease in growth, bark beetle infestation, and dwarf mistletoe infections. We are finding that each of these individual problem areas can impact a wide, and many times different, range of age and size classes. Because of this, we believe that uneven-age management systems give us a better tool to manage for a diversity of size and age classes, as well as to better promote healthy, vigorous stands by harvesting trees single or groups of diseased stagnant trees.
Very few of the CLF acres can be classified as true all-aged forests in which three or more well defined age classes (“well defined” means differing in total height and age, not just in stem diameter) are represented and mixed throughout the lands. More commonly, our uneven-age stands fall into two general categories. The first is the forest composed of small and irregular groups of more or less even-aged stands. These stands, ranging from 10 to 50 acres in size, are in general even-aged. Trees tend to occur in one acre, or smaller, clumps composed of one to three age classes. These groups are not often clearly separated and sometimes intermixed, but in reality the majority of the trees are not growing under all-aged conditions. This situation occurs more noticeably on the northern FLC tract. The second category is one in which a mosaic pattern of easily distinguishable even-age stands exists. Over areas as large as 100 acres, all age classes and sizes are well represented, but the trees mainly grow in even-aged clumps. The degree of this even- aged condition is not as marked or noticeable as that found in a true even-aged condition. This situation is more prevalent on the eastern portion of the LP tract.
We are faced with patchy and periodic reproduction in the favored (economic and biological) ponderosa pine species, as well as a marked deficit in some diameter classes and surplus in others. When combined with the climatic fluctuations, and insect infestations and diseases that we encounter, utilizing uneven-age management is our best option for creating and maintaining sustainable forests. This will be accomplished on a case by case basis using modified selection cuts, intermediate cuts and/or small group selections.
Growth & Yield
Growth and yield of the forest is calculated using the latest distance dependent growth model developed by Jim Arney of Forest Biometrics. This software package represents the state of the art in forest inventory database design, area and volume computations, growth projections and harvest planning. It is the result of thirty years of continuing research and development into the quantification and forecasting of Northwest forest resources. This program not only models the growth of the forest, but integral to the system is a method to project out at any time period to estimate inventory, but to also apply silvicultural regimes that are consistent with our management and determine what the annual harvest will be over the time projection period.
This model design projects the stand clumpiness throughout the live of the stand. This degree of clumpiness from past management practices and natural regeneration may cause future yield difference of 20-50% when compared to other older growth model architectures not capable of handling these stand structures. Only FPS provides small tree growth projections for trees from 1 to 20 feet, including optional treatments of site prep, brush control and animal control.
Stands are depletion cruised after harvesting and this information is then used to update the inventory of the tract. Optionally, additional cruise plots can be taken in non harvested stands to continually update the forest inventory. Growth plots have been or are going to be established on each tract to calibrate the FPS growth model. These plots are 1⁄4 acre in size, and each tree is stem mapped and measured for its physiological characteristics. Plots are re-measured over time and this change in the plot characteristics is then incorporated into the FPS software to calibrate it to our local sites.
Our wildlife management goals will strive for species richness management. This implies maintaining habitats that will support viable populations of all the species indigenous to the management unit, as well as those of desirable introduced species. Since there is the potential of several hundred wildlife species within a single forest management unit, addressing the individual habitat needs of all these is impractical. Therefore some procedure is necessary to meet the management objective in a practical manner. To do this, the assumption must be made that meeting the habitat requirements of a small number of carefully selected species (Also known as indicator species are those having a narrow range of ecological tolerance. Therefore, the presence of these species and their relative abundance serve as a barometer of ecological conditions within a management unit.) will assure meeting the habitat requirements for the remaining species.
Through consultations with Federal, State and Private wildlife biologists, we will strive to attain a mix of early and late forest succession as well as to ensure the proper components of habitat for species selected for management required to maintain a minimum viable population. In addition provide special and unique habitat features, including riparian zones, old growth timber, edge, dead and down woody material, and manage cliffs, caves, talus and road use to provide species richness, and to emphasize habitat conditions for a single or several species selected by the Resource Department for emphasis, on a sustained yield basis. (see Field Application, Wildlife and Riparian areas for current methods of protecting and enhancing wildlife and riparian attributes).
Most of the terrain within the CLF ownership lends itself well to mechanized ground based harvesting equipment. Relatively recently, full mechanization of the operation has occurred. That is, rather than having timber fallers and choker setters, the felling and skidding operations are done by machine. Benefits derived from mechanical harvesting are cost savings by the contractor and forest floor fuel loading. The cost efficiency comes from the ability of the feller buncher to bunch the felled trees into piles or turns of logs, to be taken to the landing. In the past, each log had to be located, a choker attached to it and then dragged to a landing. By having the turns concentrated or bunched, less time is spent finding and choking the logs. Additional benefits derived from mechanization is the reduction of exposure to the workers on the ground to falling trees or flying debris in the felling process. This is now done by mechanized feller-bunchers, eliminating the need for timber fallers. With the use of grapple machines for skidding the logs to the landing, the elimination of choker setters has occurred. This is also a dangerous job in that the choker setter has the potential for serious injury. Even though the advent of mechanical harvesting equipment has meant the loss of some jobs in the woods, overall it has improved the safety of the remaining workers. Additionally, with the use of mechanical harvesters, which can direct the path of the fall of the tree, stand damage is reduced over the use of hand fallers since tree direction is controlled by the machine operator and the turns of logs are bunched rather than scattered. Also, since there are fewer “cutters” in the field, if there is a problem with the selection of trees for harvest, it is easier to track down the person responsible.
Dying, dead and down trees are important components of forest ecosystems, because during the process of death and decay they are inhabited by an extraordinarily diverse succession of organisms ranging from woodpeckers and other cavity-users, to myriad invertebrates, fungi, and microorganisms. Not only are dead trees critical microhabitats for many species, but they are also large reservoirs of organic matter and hence play a role in nutrient cycling. There are alternatives, such as killing trees to meet immediate needs, or providing nest boxes, but allowing a few large, old trees to die naturally is preferable under most circumstances. Some costs are associated with snag maintenance programs, notably some reduction in timber extraction and safety risks, but they do not outweigh the considerable value dead wood has in a forest ecosystem.
We will strive to provide habitat conditions for viable populations of snag-dependent species by meeting the snag requirement targets of 1.5 snags per 20 acres with DBH of 15 to 24” and 0.5 snags per 20 acres with DBH > 24”.
As dictated by natural diversity, snag requirements cannot be met on every acre. To the extent possible, the area of accountability will be the timber stand; all forested lands within each stand will be used to assess average snag densities. Clumped dispersion of snags is desired, but no more than five snags per acre will be counted for determining average snag densities. Twenty feet is the minimum height for snags.
On CLF lands there are several streams and stream segments that are listed as 303(d) water quality limited streams. Of the possible parameters for listing, flow modification, sediment and temperature, the temperature parameter in all cases is the limiting factor in these streams. Beginning in the spring of 1998, those named and/or perennial streams within our property boundaries will have temperature monitor devices placed in them. Monitoring will be done yearly. A database of information will be collected with the objective being to eventually remove those listed streams off of the 303(d) list. This will be accomplished either through aggressive riparian management, or by showing that since the streams in Eastern Oregon/California, dry up in the summer time, no matter how we manage the streamside vegetation, under natural conditions without intervention, they still can not meet the limitation of DEQ, thus those listed streams should be removed from the list.
Although we cannot control what occurs prior to the water entering our land, wherever we impact the stream, we will attempt to make it a positive impact. That is to say, there are areas upon the property where there is streamside vegetation, both understory and overstory, present. In those areas we have the opportunity to minimize or exclude operations, consistent with sustainability. What we have control of we will improve. There are areas that have no vegetation in the riparian area. In these areas, which we have control over, we have the opportunity to ameliorate the situation by taking such actions as planting native vegetation (willows) to provide streamside shading and filtration.
In an effort to determine the health of the watersheds and streams on the Collins Lakeview Forest, CLF has hired in the summer of 2000 and 2001 several Lakeview High school students to survey selected watercourses upon the property based upon the Measurement Protocols Shade Stream Surveys for the Winema and Fremont National Forest (See Appendix H). There is a twofold reason for hiring the high school students. One is that we hired the students through a program called Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering through the Oregon Graduate Institute in Portland Oregon. The mission of this organization is to place inquiring young minds into direct contact with accomplished and successful professionals and to develop a pipeline of talent now to become our future scientists and engineers, by providing real world work experiences for bright and motivated high school students. This gave these students a working experience in the science field prior to graduating from school. And the other reason for the survey is since we used an “approved” protocol that the Forest Service is using, we can compare our results within a watershed with those of the Forest Service.
In 2000 6.6 miles of streams were surveyed and in 2001 3 miles of streams were surveyed under the above protocol. The exact locations of the reaches surveyed are noted with rebar at the station points. This will facilitate going back in five years to the same stream reach and redo the surveys to determine the direction the stream health is going.
Overall the streams are in good health. One notable example is Mud Creek. The fish shocking survey that was done showed that we had more red-band trout per 1000 feet of stream reach than does the Chewaucan River out of Paisley, which is know for its abundance of fish.
Additionally, to monitor the stream temperatures, HOBO temperature sensors are deployed in the perennial streams in the spring and collected in the late fall. The sensors are placed in the same location each year. Temperature data is collected every hour throughout the summer months.
The Resource Manager and Lands Manager are both trained in archaeological site detection/determination in California. Although Oregon has no requirements through the Forest Practice Rules to survey for archaeological sites, we will exceed the requirements by applying the same training we have received for California and applying it to Oregon operations.
When laying out harvesting areas, the protocols learned through the CLFA training in archaeological identification will be employed. If and when archaeological sites are discovered upon CLF lands, there are three criteria that the site must past to determine its significance: The site’s age, the sites uniqueness and how intact the site is. Obviously, the greater any given archaeological site’s age, uniqueness or intactness (integrity), the more likely it is to be significant and the reverse is true as well. Archaeological site significance can only be assessed on a comparative basis: typical units of reference are all sites within a given harvest area/THP, drainage, county or part of the state. The application of the three criteria allows specific archaeological sites to be evaluated as to their relative significance, or ranked. Such ranking, on a comparative scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most significant, is achieved by comparing each site with its neighboring archaeological sites. The relative significance (ranking) of each site then dictated the protection measures most applicable for it.
If a significant site is found during the preparation of a THP, or during active operations on a THP, or on harvest operations in Oregon, mitigation for protection of the site will be avoidance.
It has been the policy of the Collins Lakeview Forest, to have the lands open to public use. However, there are some lands that were gated by previous owners, that will remain gated. This is because of the improvements behind these gates that we must protect. Hunting, mushroom gathering, wood cutting and general strolling through our property is allowed.
During periods of high fire danger, we do not allow open camp fires or fireworks to be used on the property nor do we allow any firewood cutting to occur.
CLF has and will continue to support research on all aspects of forest ecosystems. In the past we have allowed federal and state employees to collect data upon our land. This type of participation maintains lines of communication between CLF and the research community as well as providing CLF with up to date information which ultimately improves the overall management of the CLF lands.
Some of the research projects that have been carried out on CLF lands are:
- White tail deer migration radio telemetry -Fremont National Forest
- Electroshocking of streams to determine red band trout populations
- Radio telemetry of elk herds - California Department of Fish and Game
- Cooperative fire management study with the State of Oregon, Department of Forestry - Lakeview
- Pest surveys through Oregon Department of Forestry - ongoing
- ASE/Saturday Academy – Summer student volunteers – stream monitoring and data collection
Contract Labor Policy
It is the policy of CLF to treat all contract labor organizations equally in accord with the Fair Labor Standards Act. All contractors are required to carry, and show proof of, Workman’s Compensation Insurance on all employees, as well as Logger’s Broad Form Liability Insurance. Further, any contractor utilizing migrant or seasonal labor must do so under the direction of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29USC 1801-1872;5CFR 500). Where applicable, contractors are required to show proof of valid Oregon Farm/Forest Labor Contractor License throughout the duration of operation on CLF lands.
CLF uses independent logging contractors to harvest timber products from the CLF lands and USFS timber sale purchases. Payment to the contractor is based upon production in thousand board feet (MBF) of logs or tons of pulpwood. Road builders are paid on both hourly and project basis. Tree planting or thinning projects will use both piece and acres as the basis for treatment and payment.
It is not the policy of CLF to directly supervise the safety aspect of a contractor’s operation. However, if any safety issue is noted during field inspection of operations, the safety issue will be brought to the immediate attention of the person involved. All operators are required and expected to follow Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA). Safety of a general nature will be addressed during the Annual Operations Meeting prior to commencement of operations each spring.
CLF will continually strive to instill pride of ownership in our contractors as it pertains to projects they perform on CLF lands. Through monitoring of the operations and feedback to the contractors as to how they are doing, as well as their feedback to CLF staff on the operational feasibility of the layout of the harvest area, allows us to plan future operations consistent with resource protection and sustainability.
Management zones are areas where wildlife habitat, water quality protection, old growth character, aesthetics and recreation take precedence over timber management objectives. For example, riparian wetland areas play a significant role in restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the water resource coming from the forest. Wildlife use riparian areas disproportionately more than any other type of habitat. In addition, riparian areas are highly prized for their economic values and other uses such as livestock production and recreation. Therefore, their protection is for more than aesthetics due to the diversity of non-commodity items they produce.
Two broad categories of management zones currently are employed on the ground: Riparian zones and special areas.
Riparian zones are defined as designated stream corridors including flood plains, associated wetlands and adjacent forested lowlands. These zones extend a minimum of 100 feet back from the banks of designated streams and include adjacent access roads and dispersed recreation sites where aesthetics are important.
Our objectives in designating and maintaining these management zones is for the following reasons: Protection of water quality; protection of associated wetlands and their aquatic habitats; dissipate energies associated with wind and wave action; and overland flow from adjacent sites, thereby reducing erosion and improving water quality; filter sediment and aid floodplain development; improve flood-water retention and ground- water recharge; develop root masses that stabilize islands and shoreline features against cutting action; restrict water percolation; develop diverse ponding characteristics to provide the habitat and water depth, duration, and temperature necessary for fish production, water bird breeding, and other uses; and support greater biodiversity.
Timber harvesting and vegetation management are permitted only under the-following conditions: Salvage (of dead/dying trees), efforts to mitigate effects of catastrophic situations, maintenance or enhancement of wildlife habitat, improvement of recreation sites and protection of roads and access.
The other type of management zone we will manage for is special areas. These are areas consisting of one or more of the following characteristics: forest cover types and plant populations; wildlife habitat and animal populations; recreation and historical sites; unique physical or geological features and scenic corridors.
We will protect the unique characteristics of these areas which could be adversely impacted by timber harvesting. Additionally, we will strive to enhance areas of unique plant and animal populations and habitats.
Operations will only occur within these special areas under the following conditions: to enhance the overall wildlife habitat; to meet specific habitat needs of unique wildlife and plant populations; to improve and protect access to the area; to enhance recreational uses and to salvage blow down or dead and dying timber.
Individual management plans will be developed for each area. Site specific plans should protect and enhance the unique features. Prior to any timber harvesting activity, these areas will be designated on the ground, plotted on the work map, and discussed with the contractor before any operations commence.
Island reserves and special management areas will be mapped and entered into our GIS with new areas added as they are established. See current listing of Special Management reserves.
FSC Forest Management Certificate