West of Talent, a unique ecological site on land managed by the BLM Oregon & Washington, located in the Holton Creek Resource Natural Area, underwent ecological evaluation by Lomakatsi’s technical team this summer as part of a project partnership with Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative.
Ecological monitoring around Holton Creek will inform a data-based assessment of the surrounding 421-acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), and establish a pretreatment baseline for potential future restoration treatments on this southwest side of the West Bear All-Lands Restoration Project footprint. The property abuts a 450-acre private parcel previously treated in the area, adding to the connectivity of restoration treatments in a project that focuses on integrated community resilience across the wildland urban interface.
Working around extreme heat, Lomakatsi’s restoration forestry technicians trekked deep into the landscape in the early mornings to identify prevalent trees, shrubs, and herbaceous species, and to calculate canopy cover, tree size, slope, and other data used for pre- and post-treatment monitoring. The on-the-ground technician team generates detailed reports about forest stand composition, and identifies wildlife habitat priority areas and large, old trees – the ecological anchors and legacies of a fire-adapted forest. This information will be used by the BLM and partners to determine if this low-elevation old growth area would benefit from restoration treatments.
We are grateful for partnership on this work with SOFRC, a member of Rogue Forest Partners, which was funded through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for monitoring and implementation around Holton Creek and federal land in the ACEC.
“We’re really that linchpin between the ideas and the crew that does the cutting and burning. We do the stand surveys, see what the species composition is on the forest, and relay that back to the scientists who understand how to evaluate potential treatments and write a prescription for that area. The crew does its job, then we go back in and determine whether we were successful in our implementation and meeting our objectives.”Restoration Forestry Technician Walker Woodman