Mt. Pisgah Oak Restoration

May 19, 2008

Hal Hushbeck, Friends of Buford Park staff member, and Dave Predeek were the knowledgeable guides for our hike up Mt. Pisgah. The 61 acre Oak Enhancement Project Site is along the Summit Trail #1 above the power lines. Dave showed us historical and aerial photos of the site. Hal described how technical and stewardship teams, advisors, and partnerships have worked together to implement the project. Hal pointed out areas where Douglas fir has encroached on the white oat habitat creating a greater risk for wildfire. They plan to thin out the confers leaving snags for wildlife and wood debris for wildlife habitat. They also plan to thin some of the oak trees to protect those with larger canopies. Some of the goals are to enhance the understory native vegetation, continue to control invasive vegetation, increase diversity of plants to benefit native pollinators. Our group had lots of questions about the oak ecosystem. What is a healthy oak? How did they decide which ones to cut? Why are there single oak trees? Why are oaks clustered on the ridge to the south? Dave also identified flowers as we hiked up the trail. He pointed out meadows where the Monday Regulars have cleared blackberry bushes and then planted native plants. Dave has nurtured these plants for many years. We were fortunate to have Dave and Hal share their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our next hike up Mt. Pisgah will be with different eyes. The project will begin at the end of July and some trails will be closed.

Participants were: Jean Coberly, Richard Essenberg, Hal Hushbeck, Janet Jacobsen (leader), John Jacobsen, Jim Pierce, Dave Predeek (co-leader) and Pat Soussan.

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