Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Visit to Jenner Headlands

         A Visit to Jenner Headlands           

Melina Hammar, Heather Wacker, Daniel Foley, Shiloh Vallentyne

For our next field trip outing, we made the trek from Rohnert Park out to Duncan’s Mills to learn about the Wild Conservancy’s property at Jenner Headlands.  This majestic forest spans approximately 3,000 acres of the property and is a home to numerous species, which include the Northern Spotted Owl.  Past land uses and extensive timber harvesting has altered the composition and integrity of this integral forest along the Sonoma Coast. Therefore, a set of restoration forestry goals have been established to encourage the historical nature of this forest and create a self-sustaining ecosystem that supports the growth of mature conifers, provides suitable habitat for the species present, and protects streams and water quality.  Currently, the forest is dominated by smaller, thinner trees, which have a tendency to overcrowd the landscape.  This makes the system especially vulnerable to fire.  So, for our day in Jenner, we pitched-in to help create a shaded fuel break.

The shaded fuel break is intended to produce more mature trees and reduce fuel loads by utilizing the shade from selected, taller trees to shade out the new growth of younger trees.  This will enhance the forest by supporting the growth of the older trees that are more disease-resistant and fire-resilient while decreasing the growth of smaller trees that would compete with the older stands.  Low growing shrubs such as huckleberry can then establish along the forest floor to further suppress the growth of smaller trees.   However, until the trees are large enough to shade out the growth of smaller trees, manual removal is a good alternative.  And that is where our fieldwork came in!!

Everyone listening to Zach as he explains how we will all be helping with the shaded fuel break in the Jenner Headlands.

Thanks Zach!

Getting ready to start our day of hard work chopping down smaller trees
to help support the growth of the larger trees.

Shiloh hard at work!

We had two different sides of the hill that we were working on.
Here you can see half the class working hard at trimming down the undergrowth.

Great job Kelsey and Ruben!
Vita working hard!!


Kendra, Melina, and our new friends!

Oh my gosh is Kelsey about to find out that she is going to one
of the World Series Games!!?

Uhhhhhh...... Meagan?
Well at least the loppers were not very sharp....

Kelly and Katie relaxing during our lunch break.

Lots of lopping left to do, so back to work we go.

So neat to see this beautiful
Giant California Salamander!

We covered these cuts with branches to suppress new growth

Dan is ready to show those branches who’s boss!

We saw a few of these forest mice nests!


Looking out, we saw some spectacular views of the forest we got to work in. You can see a layer of fog hanging over the coast.

After a long day in the field Stumptown Brewery is a great way to end the day!

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