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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 387

Volunteers improve oak woodland in Lacks Creek watershed

A group of 40 volunteers joined BLM Arcata Field Office staff Saturday, June 13, to work on an oak woodland improvement project in the Lacks Creek watershed northeast of Eureka.  Match funding for the work was provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and the  Mule Deer Foundation (MDF).  The volunteers worked on a four-acre plot, removing conifer trees that have encroached into oak woodlands, impacting habitat for elk and deer.  The work area is part of a 180-acre project  funded by RMEF and MDF.

woman points out a feature on a large map she is holding in front of her
Arcata Field Manager Lynda Roush welcomed the volunteers and briefed them on the importance of the Lack's Creek public lands, which encompass 8,673 acres.  The watershed is part of the protection zone for Redwoods National Park, which lies downstream.

a man moves branches on the ground
 two men work gathering branches from the ground
Brian Lake, California  regional director for the  Mule Deer Foundation,  pitched in as a member of a work crew (first photo above), as did Mike Morgan, California district chairman for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  In the second photo above, Morgan works with Chris Heppe, right, BLM's manager of the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

Two men in hard hats and yellow jackets pick up branches to feed into an orange chipper in the background 
BLM firefighters Leif Larson, foreground, and Alex Franck manned the chipper as volunteer workers dragged in branches from conifers being removed from the project site.

Fog partially obscures green trees at the edge of a clearing
A goal of the work day was to improve conditions for oak trees, such as these Oregon white oaks, shrouded in North Coast fog.  Oaks are important components for elk and deer habitat, but at Lack's Creek, expanding conifer stands have shaded out the oaks, hampering growth.

More information on Lack's Creek, including a management plan, is available on the BLM Arcata Field Office website, www.blm.gov/ca/arcata.

Photos by James Sowerwine, Arcata Field Office
Text by Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California District

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 387

Last updated: 06-17-2009