Mount Grace conducted a sustainable timber harvest, accompanied by forestry tours, recently at our Arthur Iversen Conservation Area in Warwick.
The Arthur Iversen Conservation Area is a 517-acre woodland owned and managed by Mount Grace since in 1991. Most of the land is managed under a “forever wild” conservation restriction which only allows for natural processes to shape the land, but 94 acres have always been set aside for sustainable forest management purposes—following the wishes of the late Myra Iversen, who donated the land to Mount Grace.
The Forest Stewardship Plan for the property was prepared by Mike Mauri, a Massachusetts licensed forester, and approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The plan promotes an uneven aged forest, which will have diverse species and age classes of trees. The plan also maintains and enhances important ecological features such as very large trees, snags (standing dead trees that are a source of food and shelter for many species), and downed woody material on the forest floor.
“Sustainable forestry is an excellent way to enhance and maintain diverse forest types so that ecosystems are strong and the land can provide clean drinking water, wildlife habitat and wood now and into the future,” says Mount Grace Stewardship Biologist Tom Wansleben. “Mount Grace is intent on supporting our woods based rural economy by hiring local foresters and loggers and providing a source of sustainably harvested wood for building, making paper and for home heating.”
A more diverse forest will provide all the necessary food and habitat resources that a wide range of plants and wildlife species require. Species such as black bear, wild turkey, salamanders and a variety of songbirds will all benefit. Greater diversity of tree and animal life also makes the forest community more resilient, and allows it to withstand a variety of natural changes such as diseases, insects, and ice damage.
Mount Grace offered several hikes on the property both before and after the harvest. To view this project and learn about forest management, contact Mount Grace at 978-248-2043.