2019-03-16 / Outdoors

Aspen trees felled in state forest

Aspen trees have been removed on approximately 25 acres in the McDonald Run area, off Bell Draft Road in the Elk State Forest.

District Forester Jeanne Wambaugh reported that the 60-year-old aspen stand and some beech trees were clear-cut to stimulate root and stump sprouting by other aspens. Beech trees were cut because of an infestation of beech bark disease.

“The aspen cut was conducted to enhance wildlife habitat,” Wambaugh explained. “Young aspen stands are used by grouse, deer, elk, woodcock, and many songbirds.”

She noted that dense, young aspen trees protect many species from predators such as hawks and owls. Elk and deer rely on aspens for both food and cover.

“This project is part of a wildlife plan for the area that includes other treatments such as commercial timber harvests, prescribed fires and food plot maintenance, all with the goal of increasing the value of the area for native wildlife species,” Wambaugh said.

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