SOLON– Interested neighbors and users of Lake Macbride State Park get another chance to look over the park’s comprehensive Forest Stewardship Plan Friday, March 7, in a 6 p.m. public meeting at Solon Public Library.
The meeting is open to the public.
The plan, unveiled last fall, assesses current conditions, threats and concerns for woodland health and recommends specific management practices for the park, west of Solon, to help achieve the goals set forth for conservation and recreation uses.
In the winter of 2013, Department of Natural Resources foresters walked 933 acres of forest cover, recording data to help classify and describe the woodlands. From that, 102 different stands in the park were identified, delineated by terrain, tree species, density and other features.
Among the findings were that the park’s “overstory”– typically the oldest and largest trees in the park– are nearly half oak and hickory, with lesser stands of ash, elm, basswood and other species.
Foresters noted very few young “understory” stands of oak exist to replace the older oaks as they die. Just 0.3 percent of that understory is the desired oak and hickory mix. In other words, the majority of Macbride’s woodlands are mature or old, with not much young oak forest to replace it.
The Macbride management plan sets out practices over the next 15 years to achieve a balanced age class distribution of desirable trees and understory vegetation. Those practices range from small scale (20-30 acres) controlled burns, clear cuts (4-6 acres), immature woodland thinning, mature oak restoration, weed tree removal, sustainable harvest guidelines (in areas away from campgrounds and picnic areas) and aggressive treatment of invasive species and other forest health threats.
The Macbride Forest Management plan can be found at: http://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/parks/PDFS/lakemacbride_fore... .