President Tom Coleman

Kudos to our stewards! They have won the 2015 Hood Canal Coordinating Council's Environmental Achievement Award. The award ceremonies were held on the 6th of November at the Lucky Dog casino in Skokomish Washington. Stewards attending were treated to breakfast and lunch during the celebration of the 30th year of the Hood Canal Coordinating Council. It is an honor to win this award and made more so by those that were nominated but did not win. There are many selfless individuals and dedicated groups out there doing things for our community and generations that will follow. President Tom Coleman accepted the award and gave a speech about how our group works together and gets things done. Attending: Rob Gelder (KC Commissioner), Jim Dunwiddie (KC Parks Director), Lorie Raymaker, (Volunteer coordinator), Arno Bergstrom (KC Forester)and several stewards.

DNR Urban and Community Forest Grant

WCC Round Two, Week One

WCC Logo

We are once again blessed with a Washington Conservation Corp crew to help us with some heavy lifting in the park. Friends was awarded a second grant thanks to help from KC Parks Jim Dunwiddie and Arno Bergstrom. The crew works four 10 hour days each week for a month and are tackling tasks outlined in the grant proposal. The proposal included: Ladder fuel reduction-fire mitigation, Canopy separation on Old Loop road-fire mitigation, Bird viewing and forage enhancement, non chemical noxious weed control-Tansy-Scotch Broom-English Holly, Pine Blister Rust reduction, unauthorized trail obliteration in the RCO area, tree planting and other tasks as time permits.

Excluded stemsLadder fuels exluded stems Pole saw removal of dead limbs

Beginning on Monday the 4th of January, the crew began to remove dead limbs from trees in unit B-16. B-16 was recently thinned using restorative forestry techniques to reduce tree crowding, increase crown separation, increase sunlight on the forest floor, and increase plant and wildlife specie diversity. A ground fire in this area could use the dead limbs to move up into the canopy causing severe damage. With the limbs removed, the chance of this happening is reduced. Fires are a natural part of the environment and all we can do is attempt to reduce a fires intensity when it occurs. Later in the week the crew began to prune along Old Loop Road on the west side of the park. This straight section of trail is our primary fire break against wind driven fires approaching from the southwest. Stewards have been enhancing bird forage (soft mast) and bird viewing opportunities along this section of the parkway for several years. The crew improved sight lines for bird viewing by removing lower branches of evergreens in the area near a large stand of Red Elderberry on the east side of the road.

The crew began to tackle pruning on Old Loop Parkway on Wednesday. Trees were pruned for proper canopy separation and fire fuels were reduced from ditch line to ditch line. Fire fighters and emergency rescue equipment must be protected and have access to this area as well as an escape route should things go south. Limbs were stacked along the ditch line to be chipped when Dori's chipper becomes available.

UFRP Round Two, Week TWO

Bird Meadow scotch broom Bird Meadow after removal of broom

Week two of the Urban Forest Restoration Program grant began with Scotch Broom removal along the new Old Loop connector, and Fire Trail. This newly constructed section of parkway was a huge invitation for Scotch Broom seeds to germinate. The seeds are viable for about 60 years, and as soon as they get full sun, they germinate. The crew hand pulled and the county forester and Stream Stewards used an experimental approach to control the thousands of tiny sprouts. An agricultural technique introduced around 1960 to control weeds with cellular disruption through heat was tried on the broom around the junction of Old Loop and Fire Trail. We hope this is just one more non herbicidal tool in our arsenal to control this invasive plant. Moving into Bird Meadow the crew pulled large Scotch Broom plants in the side meadows. They were stacked and mixed with fir limbs to provide heavy winter cover for the Pacific Quail. WCC crew members pruned Western White Pine west of Fire Trail. Lower limbs were removed up to 6 feet to reduce the opportunity for Blister Rust to settle on the needles. This disease, introduced in Washington around 1912, kills White Pines.

Female English Holly Stump treated with Acetic Acid

Later in the week, the crew went into the RCO area near the beaver dam to remove English Holly. This invasive specie is hard to remove and harder yet to kill. Any branch touching the ground will sprout roots and form another stem. Birds have spread the seeds throughout the park. Along Foot Traffic Only trail the English Holly has begun to shade out the large Red Huckleberry plants. English Holly was introduced to Washington state as an agricultural crop. It was once very popular to have a holly wreath at Christmas time. The bright red berries and shiny green leaves brought color to the drab winter landscape, and produced a cash crop for at least two farms that I know of. The remnants of two local farms can be found on Tracyton Beach road (near the 90 degree turn) and in Silverdale along the old Poulsbo/Bangor highway (now Chico Way). Large Holly stumps are impossible to remove, and if left will continue to grow. An effective method of killing the stump is by drilling a hole in the stump, and filling it with glysophate. In our attempts to use non herbicidal treatments in the park, we are experimenting with a 5% solution of acetic acid. You may be familiar with it's taste, as it is vinegar. The ziploc bags are used to prevent rain from washing out the acid while it is absorbed by the stump. If this fails we will have to get a licensed herbicide applicator to use glysophate.

Bird Meadow trail before lift

Pruning to improve trail aesthetics was completed in Bird Meadow on Wednesday, and limbs are scheduled to be chipped on Tuesday the 19th. Lower limbs were removed to allow park patrons to view deeper into the woods and open the sight line. Scotch broom removal began here in this meadow about 6 years ago, and is ongoing. Each fall the meadow is mowed and rototilled to turn under the new crop of Scotch Broom. Areas that can not be mowed or tilled are being hand pulled until the Salal and Oregon Grape can take over the job by shading the remaining seeds, preventing germination.

UFRP Round Two, Week Four

Monday found the crew staging woody debris for the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and planting trees in the North 250. Road construction for the thinning completed in 2014, left many slash piles along Old Timber Parkway. Unsightly slash piles were ripped apart along Old Timber and the debris was broadcast into the woods, while useful items were staged near the Blue Gate to be used for fish habitat enhancement. The root wads and stems will be placed in Big Beef Creek later this year. Shade tolerant, and disease resistant Western White Pine, and Western Redcedar were planted in and adjacent to forwarder trails created when the logs were removed .

Dori fence on logging road Root wads and stems

Tuesday the crew planted trees most of the day, and built a fence in the afternoon. The fence blocks a haul road that will remain dormant for at least twenty years. The haul road is not a trail, and dead ends near the Camp Wesley Harris government fence. This area is part of a wildlife corridor. On Wednesday the crew cleared Rhodie Hill trail of logging debris, and cleared and stacked debris for chipping along Coyote Loop Trail down to post #35. On Thursday they completed clearing Coyote loop, and began to tackle Raven Trail in anticipation of reopening the trails for users once logging operations are completed in the near future. A small section of Coyote Loop remains to be cleared. This section is part of the log landing area, and haul operations are in progress.

Rhodie Hill before cleaning 2016 Americorp WCC CREW

UFRP Round Two, Week Three

All the limbs removed during pruning were staged along Old Loop Parkway and in Bird Meadow prior to chipping on the 19th. The crew worked on Monday, but not in Newberry. They were assigned to work on Clear Creek Trail with other WCC crews from the area in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. On Tuesday we chipped from the Holly Gate entrance up to and into Bird Meadow. All fire fuels within 20 feet of the trails were reduced to chips and returned to the woods. On Wednesday, the crew chipped along the east side of the park along Old Loop Parkway and Rhodie Hill (south). Wednesday we began to plant Western White Pine and Western Redcedar in the area that was recently thinned. 400 Young trees were placed in the woods among the Douglas Fir. On Thursday, tree planting began in the unit above the nursery with a total of 900 trees placed in the Hemlock/Doug Fir forest. These shade tolerant trees resist Laminated Root Rot as well as form an intermediate canopy for more diverse habitat.

Chipping limbs on Old Loop Crew planting trees