CEDAR MOUNTAIN – DuPont State Recreational Forest will be harvesting timber in November on 35 acres near the Conservation Road and Lake Julia Dam Road and on 25 acres near Joanna Road.
The start date for the work is dependent on the weather, but there will be periodic trail closures as well as forestry equipment in the woods and on DuPont’s roads. Lake Summit Road, which runs from Lake Julia to the airstrip area, will likely be closed in early November.
“The Conservation Road harvest is in alignment with DuPont’s Land and Resource Management Plan,” said Jason Guidry, forest supervisor. “This harvest is intended to improve the regeneration of northern red oak, chestnut oak and white oak, as well as make more sunlight available for understory plant species to develop, thereby enhancing wildlife habitat for several game and non-game animal species.”
Guidry said the Conservation Road harvest will also meet multiple objectives of the management plan, including research plots for the study of Canadian hemlock regeneration and preserving several large trees that were used in the production of the 2011 film “The Hunger Games.”
The 25-acre harvest on Joanna Road is part of a restoration project to convert a white pine plantation to a more appropriate mixed hardwood and pine stand. This restoration area is identified in the dedication document that created the DuPont Dedicated Nature Preserve in 2002.
“The Joanna Mountain natural area contains rare natural communities, rare species populations and high-quality examples of typical natural communities,” said Edward Schwartzman, inventory biologist with the N.C. Natural Heritage Program. “Thinning of the plantation will allow natural regeneration of oaks and encourage shrub and herb growth with benefits for wildlife.”
The Natural Heritage Program, part of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, serves as an information clearinghouse supporting conservation of North Carolina’s rarest and most outstanding elements of natural diversity.
The timber from the restoration will be salvaged and sold. Proceeds from the timber sale will used to fund projects in the forest geared toward public safety and maintenance of existing infrastructure, Guidry said.
The DuPont State Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and maps of the Dedicated Nature Preserve can be found at http://ncforestservice.gov. For information on trail closures or safety alerts, go to the N.C. Forest Service Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NCForestService, email email@example.com or call 828-877-6527, ext. 205. DuPont staff will also be updating kiosks in the forest as harvest continues.