Forest Restoration at Oregon Ridge Park

The FRCA understands that the County will be cutting down a limited number of trees within the western boundary of the Oregon Ridge Park.

A few months ago, Don Outen of DEPS spoke at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center in connection with the development of a Small Watershed Action Plan for the watershed that includes the Park. In a dynamic and enlightening presentation, Mr Outen explained that more than a 100 years ago, before there was a Park, the area was completely logged. As a result, the succeeding generation of trees started growing more or less simultaneously and are now approaching maturity.

A detailed study of the forest system at Oregon Ridge has revealed that the trees are greatly overcrowded in places and, with additional pressure from deer, are not regenerating. As a result, the forest is under stress and will be subject to waves of mortality, such as the recent loss of 18 acres due to a Gypsy moth infestation. The existing oak-dominated forest is an important resource for habitat and water quality, but without regeneration the forest will continue to decline.

A small 25 acre area of the 895 acre Park will be thinned just enough to stimulate regeneration of oak. Many of the trees to be removed are not healthy, and it is hoped that their removal will allow the continued growth of older high-quality trees as well as the growth of seedlings for the future.