A Day in the Redwoods

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Here are some pictures from last week. This is a all-aged redwood stand in extremely steep topography. I believe we descended 1000′ feet over 1/4 mile down a ridge we were working off of, which is about 75% slope. Steep.

The forest has a history of intensive management. First logged in the late 1800s, which would have been like a clear cut but small trees were left. The next entry was probably in the 1950s and again a clear cut, but this time they took everything they could feasibly get to. In the 1980s they return and get the last patches with helicopters. And finally a series of selective harvests occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s which were thinning the 40-50 year old stuff regenerated after the 50s cut.

So at this point you have four-five generations of trees over a several hundred acre area. Because the harvests that occurred after 1950s were significantly smaller (20-40 acres compared to 200-500 acres) the environment is not homogenous. With the exception of old growth habitat, which is lacking, most other habitat types are present in a apparently well balanced mosaic. A forest like this is the poster child for the resilience of redwood and for proof that selective logging is a viable method of harvesting. They dont stop growing!

These forests are teeming with life, and you see and hear many varieties of birds throughout the day. I also noticed several flocks of aleutian geese flying over us, a sure sign that winter is getting closer.

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