The cool air temperatures didn’t matter much once we got hiking to the Hyde Woodland Preserve yesterday. After a quick ride in the back of the pickup truck we hauled chain saws, hatchets, water and snacks up the slopes of the Dougal Range. Fortunately Chris and Brian had already marked the trees they wanted girdled, and many more that ideally would be cut down.
Thanks to Michael, Renee, Dicken, Jason, Brian and Kelsey we girdled over a dozen large white pine, several multi-stemmed trees. These pines had crowded out the pitch pine along the slope near Old Stagecoach Road. It will take a year or more for those trees to die fully, but once they do so, then the pitch pines will have more light, nutrients and water to sustain their growth. We know from Brian’s investigations over the past few years, there are several rare or threatened moth species that use pitch pine in the area. We want to make sure those invertebrates continue to find pitch pine on the southwestern slopes of the Dougal Range.
The other half of our group set out on the other side of the Hyde Woodland Preserve to begin laying out a walking trail that will provide easier access to Muddy Brook. The trail layout will continue over the coming months. Starting this fall, we hope to begin work clearing the trail off of Old Gilbertville Road. Thanks to Dean, Rick, Jaye and Dave for their work starting this process!