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Protected tree seedlings are planted under a thinned Douglas fir canopy.
The 88-acre Barneston forest restoration project was implemented in two phases under the Cedar River Municipal Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan. After a long management history, the 30-year-old forest stand was ecologically thinned during the last half of 2015 to improve the vigor of the remaining trees and create forest structural variability. Early in 2016, six species of trees were planted throughout the site to improve biodiversity and provide a second forest canopy.
As the forest continues to develop over the coming decades, tree and understory growth and survival will continue to be monitored.
The goal of the project is to improve wildlife habitat, increase tree species diversity, and improve forest resilience to a changing climate.