The land is already forested, why not leave it as is?
  • First, the present second-growth pine forest is overcrowded and in poor health. Many of the individual trees are spindly or stunted. These problems are natural and expected at this stage of succession, but it means the forest provides little food or shelter and few nesting cavities, rendering it unattractive to wildlife and leaving trees vulnerable to parasites and pine beetles.
  • Second, dense stands are stressful for trees, resulting in elevated rates of limb loss and premature tree death. Copious amounts of dead and down wood increase the danger of wildfire. 
  • Third, because the canopy is dense, little sunlight reaches the forest floor, restricting what can live in these areas. With few plants at ground level, there is little food for animals other than pine seeds, resulting in low diversity of animal species and a low population even among the species that can subsist in these environments. 
  • Finally, large portions of the pine woods are all the same age, giving visitors a look at only one stage of forest succession.

Show All Answers

1. Why create a managed forest at Sandy Creek Nature Center?
2. How much of the nature center will be used for the managed forest?
3. Where will the managed forest be located?
4. Will the managed forest be all pine?
5. What is the history of this part of the property?
6. The land is already forested, why not leave it as is?
7. How will the managed forest address these problems?
8. Won’t letting more sunlight reach the ground create a lot of underbrush?
9. Are controlled burns safe?
10. Is clear-cutting part of the managed forest plan?
11. How are the other sites managed?
12. When does work start?
13. Is clearing and thinning the best way to create the managed forest?
14. How will you keep the Nature Center looking attractive?
15. Will the activity affect any rare or endangered species?
16. What will you do to eradicate invasive species?
17. How will you pay for it?
18. Do you have support from the community and forestry experts?
19. Is there an approval process?
20. How can I learn more?