Planting Location: Boundary and Bonner Counties in Idaho.
Project Description/Objective: Seedlings will be planted on units to be harvested through a stewardship sale via the Good Neighbor Authority with the Idaho Department of Lands, which allows the purchaser to complete service work in exchange for some of the value of the wood.
In most instances, stewardship sale contractors are not well versed in reforestation practices and elect to not conduct reforestation service work, turning this work back to the Forest Service. Moreover, Knutsen-Vanderberg (K-V) funds are no longer allowed on stewardship sales. K-V funds are generated from timber sale receipts and are prioritized for essential reforestation post-harvest.
Since stewardship sales no longer allow for essential reforestation activities and stewardship contractors elect not to conduct reforestation activities, the Forest Service must fund and complete reforestation activities through other means of stewardship sales. Obtaining funding for seedlings through reforestation partnerships allows the Forest Service to complete vital reforestation activities on these types of sales.
Ecological Benefits: Restoring this mix of majority several species to better represent their historic roles in these stands will enhance forest diversity and resilience where the risk of wildfires, insects, and disease outbreaks are significant. Vegetative restoration and fuel reduction activities in these areas created landscape patterns including open conditions that mimic those that would have resulted from a natural (historic) disturbance regime.
Funding is needed for planting after-harvest activities to obtain the desired stocking levels of potentially long-lived seral tree species in these areas that better resist insects, diseases, and stand-replacing wildfire, improving stand and overall forest resilience at the landscape level. The introduction of an exotic disease (white pine blister rust), and decades of fire suppression have led to a reduction in the diversity of tree species composition and created stand conditions that are more susceptible to future severe disturbances. Planting blister rust-resistant white pine seedlings will help restore this native “keystone” species, which has been decimated by an exotic disease.
Reforestation helps to maintain and enhance watershed function and improve wildlife habitat for recreational activities. The surrounding communities depend on these forests for several outdoor activities such as hiking and gathering non-wood forest products.
There is extensive trail use for stock, OHV, hiking, winter snowmobile and cross-country skiing. The forest is rich with backcountry trails in the Bitterroot, Selkirk, Purcell, Cabinet, and Coeur d'Alene mountains.
Hunting and fishing are important to the region and outfitters and guides are very active in the forest providing a variety of outdoor experiences.
The forest is heavily influenced by urban populations. Spokane, an urban area of over 500,000 people, lies 30 miles to the west. The forestlands are present in many communities in the Panhandle and are parts of community watersheds, provide recreation opportunities, and sometimes are needed for utilities such as sewer expansion and communication sites.
Our trailheads, day-use areas, campgrounds, and dispersed sites close to town are at or near capacity on the weekends but more remote sites provide opportunities for solitude.
Types of Trees: Western larch 30%, Engelmann spruce 5%, Western white pine 30%, Ponderosa pine 20%, Douglas-fir 10%, Western red cedar 5%
A mixture of genetically improved blister rust-resistant western white pine, ponderosa pine, western larch, and other conifers as needed to increase diversity and resiliency (Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, and/or western red cedar) will be planted on approximately 300 acres.
Number of Trees Donated by Noble Oak: 15,251