HI Dave, It still surprises me that even among environmentalists, biodiversity is still a matter of contention. There are ecological reasons to support biodiversity, often thought to enhance the mega goal of biostability.
The Young Forest Initiative is intended to increase biodiversity. I love diversity of species from Monarch Butterflies and Field Sparrows to Wood Thrush. You couldn’t see the former two species walking in a totally forested habitat. Although the YFI is a new program, it comes from an increased awareness that forests alone only support a fraction of New York’s wildlife, and that to fulfill the older state mandate for biodiversity requires a diversity of habitats. I think that cutting 10% of the forest in ten years provides a reasonable balance of different habitats. I know that in the Hammond Hill management, areas of old, mature forest were designated to be left alone, and that areas with high ecological value as they were, such as areas with high concentration of orchids, were left alone. Cutting was assigned to areas of younger forests and those portions of the forest where the current tree species would encourage rapid regeneration. Oaks provide an especially valuable food source for wildlife and food chains that start with eating an acorn. In locations where they occur, Goshawk and Timber Rattlesnakes obtain a major food source from chipmunks in years of chipmunk eruption following acorn mast years. Blue Jays, Red-headed Woodpeckers and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, deer, bear, owls, and far more species are enhanced by oaks and their acorns. Oaks regenerate in areas with at least 30% full sunshine. For Hammond Hill, some of the areas with selective cutting were designed to leave some mature oaks to provide a seed source. You mention creation of 100 acres of meadow as part of the list of reasons you oppose the management plan. Across New York grassland species are declining. Given the 11,000 acres of Connectiuct Hill, where else would it be more appropriate for the state help declining grassland species. Many grassland species are area-sensitive. They simple do not nest in anything but large patches of grassland. 10 10-acre patches of grassland will support practically no grassland species. One 100 acre grassland might well support grassland species, even Bobolinks, and meadowlarks and courtship grounds for woodcock. I love to walk through grasslands and shrubby fields and young forests as well as mature, old forests. Looking/listening for early successional species can provide real pleasure. In addition to personal pleasure, enhanced biodiversity is widely supported for ecological stability and by many hunting groups. Across New York grasslands and early succession habitat is declining as are the animals that depend on such habitat. As part of many examples, the National Turkey Foundation endorses clear cuts as they provide food for young turkey. Deer populations are enhanced by feeding in winter in recent clear cuts. For Hammond Hill, local residents who are long time deer hunters complain about the decline of deer in Hammond Hill State Forest as the early successional fields have succeeded into older forest. I know from personal experience that we once routinely saw several Ruffed Grouse visiting our yard at once (and we live contiguous to Hammond Hill State Forest). Ruffed Grouse feed primarily on aspen buds in winter and their population has locally declined as forests have matured and aspen have declined. Truly, forest management that provides 10% of the land in early succession would do much to enhance biodiversity, including species that have much appeal for non-hunters and hunters alike. As far as I can tell your reasons for opposing such forest management is that it would alter what you are accustomed to seeing and that it would add a campground. Adding a campground to increase public enjoyment of state forests is not my personal priority, but I am willing to accept it in appropriate locations as a reasonable use of forest land owned and managed by the state for wildlife and human use. I suggest your appreciation of wildlife and natural habitats could be enhanced by accepting different ecosystems as an addition and not a loss. By the way, I think I have said more than enough on this topic. I will not respond further. Best wishes, John From: Dave Gislason [mailto:dgif...@yahoo.com] Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32 PM To: John Confer <con...@ithaca.edu>; CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu> Subject: Re: FW: New post published Meeting on Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Plan I respect that you obviously have much more experience and knowledge in this area, and that maybe in the long term it is good and necessary, and everything will be alright. But, this is a huge project that over the 10 years will greatly change the experience of this 11, 237 acres of land. The State proposes to cut down the trees on 1,192 of them. 41 will become grassland, 154 will become shrub land, and 993 will eventually become young forest (trees cut and left, allowing saplings to grow). They've been doing this right along - clear-cuts of red pine in 3 places I've seen in the last 2-3 years (50 acres?). Two fresh ones show up quite nicely on Google Earth on Ct Hill Rd 3#. This year I've seen 3 new YFIs- one was a a campground area turned into one, done this year, but not on the plan. Two others, on the plan, already finished. Coming upon these is quite a shock when you've been hiking these woods for many years. They accomplish these "treatments" very quickly with tracked vehicles equipped with grinders to get rid of the little stuff, and chainsaws. This is what I have seen so far, before the announcement of this plan - the clear-cuts of red pine, and the first YFIs. Many much-loved unofficial trails (often the result of previous State extractions and maintained by local users) will also be lost, or if they survive will have new views of a tortured landscape - vast areas with stumps, half-ground trees and the ruts of large tracked vehicles (see proposed fate of D21, or the Fingerfields area of B49.2, B53, and B55).Field views if lucky, but these apparently require Roundup applications, as we've seen in recent yearsapplied to older fields. Will the thinned areas be a subtler treatment, or will we have new wide access roads to these for extraction purposes? What will Lloyd Stark Rd look like after they do thinning on F8? Will the patch clear-cuts have a more pleasant aspect? Maybe you know more about the details of the various treatments mentioned. Maybe it won't end up looking ugly and ravished, like some kind of visual equivalent to a big box game store. Dave On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:25:40 PM EDT, John Confer <con...@ithaca.edu<mailto:con...@ithaca.edu>> wrote: The DEC periodically updates management plans for each forest unit. I don’t know the details of Connecticut Hill, but I did become involved with the Hammond Hill plans. I met with DEC personnel to suggest some alterations in their plans for successional habitat. On balance I strongly support them. The intention is to create habitat that supports a greater diversity of wildlife. In particular, for Hammond Hill State Forest there is a conscious attempt to create more early succession habitat by forest cutting. The background is that in New York most forest species are increasing while most successional species are declining. Even so called forest species frequently use or even require successional habitat for part of the annual diet. Bear fatten on berries, turkey feed their poults on seeds of successional plants, tanagers feed on berries, and deer browse on small woody stems as an important and perhaps critical winter food. etc. Of course, early successional habitat supports a variety of early successional species, but it also provides forage for deer and many other forest species for parts of their annual life. I offer these thoughts after 35 years of research on successional species. I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water on this effort. John Confer From: bounce-121728155-25065...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-121728155-25065...@list.cornell.edu> [mailto:bounce-121728155-25065...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Dave Gislason Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:11 PM To: Martha Fischer <m...@cornell.edu<mailto:m...@cornell.edu>>; CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>> Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] FW: New post published Meeting on Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Plan They're just telling us about this now, but they've been working at it for a couple of years at least. Living close by, I've seen 3 areas turned into YFIs (one a camping area), and 3 areas of clear-cutting. There other areas with the telltale Blue paint marks indicating "treatments" to come. I would say that communication with the public has been quite poor so far. Only recently did they construct a couple of message boards with a flyer on the Young forest Initiatives -after they had cut down many trees. Maybe they've been barraged with questions and/or complaints. On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 9:03:46 AM EDT, Martha Fischer <m...@cornell.edu<mailto:m...@cornell.edu>> wrote: Here’s an FYI… There's a new post at TownOfEnfield.org. Meeting on Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Plan Meeting on Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Plan Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Newfield Fire Dept., 77 Main St. Newfield, NY NYSDEC will host an open house to provide information on a recently finalized habitat management plan for Connecticut hill Wildlife Management Area located in the Towns of Catherine, Cayuta and Hector, ... You may view the latest post at http://townofenfield.org/meeting-on-connecticut-hill-wildlife-management-plan/ You received this e-mail because you asked to be notified when new updates are posted. Thank you. Town of Enfield -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: Welcome and Basics<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> Rules and Information<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> Archives: The Mail Archive<http://email@example.com/maillist.html> Surfbirds<http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> BirdingOnThe.Net<http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> Please submit your observations to eBird<http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>! -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: Welcome and Basics<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> Rules and Information<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> Archives: The Mail Archive<http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html> Surfbirds<http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> BirdingOnThe.Net<http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> Please submit your observations to eBird<http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>! -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --