The Municipality of Dysart et al is currently undertaking stand improvement in the Glebe Park Forest that was recommended in the Glebe Park Forest Stewardship Plan.
In 2011 the Glebe Park Committee commissioned Forest Design Consulting in association with Glenside Ecological Services to create a stewardship plan for the Glebe Park Forest that would ensure safety for recreation and forest health, diversity and ecological integrity. The scope of the work included researching forest health, analyzing social and ecological values, inventorying plant and animal species, identifying wildlife habitat and examining water courses.
The plan was created to reflect the following values
- Ensuring safety along the trail corridors.
- Encouraging increased use of existing trails;
- Planning for trail infrastructure with minimal effect on the environment;
Maintaining and/or enhancing forest health and diversity;
- Removing diseased trees;
- Encouragement of all ages classes of trees;
- Maintaining and/or enhancing biodiversity throughout the forest;
- Encouraging the establishment of indigenous tree species;
- Maintaining and/or enhancing wildlife habitat;
- Maintaining diversity of floral community;
- Protecting habitat for species at risk; and
- Protecting original water courses.
The Glebe Park Committee did not support any commercial harvesting as part of this plan since this would have been in conflict with enhancing the identified ecological values of the Park and would have the potential of damaging existing ski trails.
A forest tending or stand improvement approach was recommended as part of the plan to ensure safety along the trail corridors and maintain and enhancing forest health and diversity. The research showed a lot of danger trees along the trail corridors and diseased trees throughout the forest.
Stand Improvement is a silvicultural practice commonly used in a forest tending prescription to remove diseased or undesirable tree species when financial or operational constraints are in place. The application of this practice starts with the tree marking of the trees to be removed, followed by forest workers, carefully felling the trees to the ground using chainsaws. The trees are then left on the ground to biodegrade into future forest nutrients in the woodlot, while allowing the forest to improve in health, regeneration and vigour. Although this process may appear ‘messy’ to the human eye is for the health of the forest and beneficial for wildlife habitat.
Within a 25m buffer zone on either side of the ski trails, the felled trees will be lopped/slashed to within 2 feet of the ground to improve the aesthetics of the project and speed up the biodegrading process.
The Stewardship Plan identified 5 different zones in the Forest and a stand improvement prescription was created for each zone.
The Stewardship Plan is available on the Glebe Park section of the Municipality of Dysart et al website. www.dysartetal.ca (Click on Services and then GlebePark). The direct link to the document is www.dysartetal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Stewardship-Plan.pdf
The Glebe Park Committee held a public meeting in September 2012 to let people know about the stewardship plan, the forest stand improvement plan and other work planned for the park.
Work will be continuing until the end of May. The public is asked to stay out of the forest and off the trails in Glebe Park on weekdays while the work is being done in the forest.