Projects: Terrestrial Habitat Restoration

Project/Client: Restorative Thinning and Log Placement Project, METRO Parks and Nature Department
Location: North Abbey Creek Natural Area, Portland, Oregon
Scope: IRM was hired to implement a restoration thinning and log placement project at their North Abbey Restoration Site. The restoration on this site is part of a larger effort to improve habitat on several nearby Metro properties, creating a corridor for fish and wildlife to access natural areas in the North Tualatin Mountains.  IRM developed silvicultural prescriptions and a hydrological assessment plan to restore a 20 acre stand of predominantly even-age Douglas-fir and a 1.25 mile section of North Abbey Creek.  The goal of the restoration is to create mature forest conditions, protect water quality, improve wildlife habitat and restore ecosystem functions.

Forest restoration efforts included selective thinning of Douglas-fir and removal non-native hardwoods trees such as sweet cherry and black locust. A cut-to-length harvester and forwarder was used to minimize ground disturbance and maximize efficiency. Wildlife enhancement included creating two snags per acre, two basal scar trees per acre, and two bunched log decks per acre (for coarse woody debris). Many of the logs from the thinning operation were used as coarse wood for the in-stream log placement on this site.  The in-stream work that was implemented on North Abbey Creek was designed to slow chancel incising and restore the streams ecosystem functions.  Additional logs needed for the in-stream work came from a nearby METRO oak/aspen restoration project. When completed, IRM placed roughly 50 logs into 15 different sites along 1.25 miles of North Abbey Creek.

Project/Client: Kincaid’s Lupine Restoration, Institute for Applied Ecology
Location: near Wren, Oregon
Scope:  Between of fall 2010 and fall 2012, IRM assisted the Institute for Applied of Ecology (IAE) in a noxious weed control effort surrounding a remnant population of the endangered species’ Fender’s blue butterfly and its threatened host Kincaid’s lupine.  This project was part of a mitigation project that took place along a set of transmission corridors near Wren, OR.  Various integrated pest management strategies were implemented throughout the course of this project, including: hand pulling noxious weeds, foliar herbicide application, weed wiping and mowing.  Due to the delicate nature of the species involved, IRM worked the IAE to develop management strategies that would be the most effective in controlling the noxious weeds being targeted, while at the same time, ensuring the safety of the Fender’s blue butterfly and the Kincaid’s lupine.   During the fall of 2013 IRM will follow up with a re-treatment of the entire area and funding depending, IRM will repeat the treatments in 2014.

Project:  Rogers Restoration Project, Metro
Location: near Happy Valley, Oregon
Scope:  IRM assisted Metro in designing and implementing a large scale restoration project on 35 acres of recently acquired property (Rogers Site) near Happy Valley, Oregon. The property was severally infested by English hawthorn, invasive fruit trees and blackberry.  During the summer of 2012 IRM utilized its LightFoot™ to masticate the non-native trees and shrubs.  IRM also managed a restoration crew of 15-20 sub-contractors who cut, piled and loped-scattered the woody material to clear the area for native planting.  IRM performed a cut-stump herbicide treatment of all invasive trees removed to avoid the occurance of re-sprouting.  The site was seeded with an assortment of native grasses and forbs during the winter of 2012.  In 2013, IRM completed a follow up herbicide application of noxious weeds spreading on the site.

Mechanical Treatment

Project/Client:  Scouter’s Mountain, Metro
Location: Gresham, OR
Scope:  During the summer of 2012, IRM assisted Metro in designing and implementing a large scale restoration project on a recently acquired piece of property known as Scouter’s Mountain, near Happy Valley, Oregon. IRM began the restoration process of over 35 acres of land that had been severally infested by English hawthorn and invasive fruit trees.  The work consisted of masticating accessible areas with IRM’s LightFoot and managing a 19 man restoration crew who cut, piled, loped and scattered the material in order to make room for native planting. The stumps of all invasive trees removed were treated with herbicide to ensure that they didn’t re-sprout.  IRM provided a follow up treatment during the summer of 2013 to treat the seedlings.

Project/Client:  Wild Iris Ridge Oak Restoration Project, City of Eugene
Location: Eugene, OR
Scope:  In an effort to restore degraded remnant oak woodland and savanna, IRM assisted the City of Eugene in a thinning project during the spring of 2013.  The Wild Iris Ridge Oak Restoration Project, consisted of thinning Douglas from fir trees from the over story of the oak habitat they had encroached on.  The restoration team consisted of up to six sawyers and 10 laborers.  The crew cut the fir trees, built wildlife habitat piles out of the boles of the trees and built burn piles out of the slash for later consumption.  IRM plans on continuing this work in 2014.

IRM crew removing small diameter trees.
Project/Client:  Carnine Oak Restoration,  Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board  and Forest Restoration Partnership
Location: near Eugene, OR
Scope: IRM was contracted by Forest Restoration Partnership to assist in oak restoration work on 600 acres in the southern Willamette Valley.  Duties performed included various land management techniques and ecological restoration strategies including: clearing brush, brush piling, controlled burns, and herbicide application on invasive and exotic forb, shrub, and tree species.

Project/Client:  Yamhill Oaks, The Nature Conservancy
Location: north of Sheridan, OR
Scope: From 2010 to 2012, IRM assisted the TNC in a blackberry herbicide application project on the Yamhill Oaks site. The project consisted of masticating mature population of Armenian blackberry that have choked the native plants in the general vicinity and are encroaching of a remnant population of Kincaid’s Lupine.  This was followed by a foliar herbicide application of the re-sprouts of the blackberry. The herbicide application was completed using a six person crew using both ATV mounted hose and gun as well as backpack sprayers.

Project/Client:  Moon Mountain Prairie Restoration, City of Eugene
Location:  Eugene, OR
Scope:  In an effort to halt the encroachment of non-native fruit trees into a relatively intact prairie, IRM was hired in 2010 by the City of Eugene to assist in the Moon Mountain Prairie Restoration Project.  IRM’s restoration crew cut and piled fruit trees and followed with an a herbicide stump spray to prevent the trees from re-sprouting. In 2011 IRM used its low impact Lightfoot machine to masticate additional fruit trees in City areas where burning is prohibited.   The City of Eugene will follow up with pile burning and native planting.

Prescribed Fire

Oak woodlands before prescribed burn

Oak woodlands before prescribed burn

Oak woodlands after prescribed burn

Oak woodlands after prescribed burn

Project:  Gill Oak Restoration, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Forest Restoration Partnership
Location:  Oakland, OR
Scope:  IRM was contracted by Forest Restoration Partnership to assist in oak restoration work on 200 acres of oak woodland habitat.

IRM implemented various land management techniques and ecological restoration strategies including: clearing brush, brush piling, controlled burns, and herbicide application on invasive and exotic forb, shrub, and tree species.n

Project/Client: Moon Mountain Burning, City of Eugene
Location:  Eugene, OR
Scope:  In an effort to halt the encroachment of non-native fruit trees into a relative intact prairie on the outskirts of Eugene, IRM completed the Moon Mountain Prairie Restoration multi-year project in January 2013. This portion of the project was to complete a controlled burn on piles that were created by restoration crews in the fall of 2011-2012.

Project/Client: Metolius Burning, Deschutes Land Trust
Location:  near Sisters, OR
Scope:  In February of 2011, IRM assisted the Deschutes Land Trust with the burning of slash piles created after a restoration thinning on the Metolius Preserve.  IRM has been assisted the Deschutes Land Trust with management planning and implementation on the Metolius Preserve since 2004.

Spraying/Herbicide Application Projects

Project/Client:  MacIver Park ,  Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation
Location:  near Estacada, OR
Scope:  During the spring of 2013, IRM completed a foliar herbicide of false brome for the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation at McIver State Park.   IRM’s restoration crew of seven treated all false brome found on the hiking trails, parking lots and disc golf course.  The purpose was to prevent further spread of the plant at this 950 acre park and other sites nearby.
IRM crew spraying reed canary grass infestation

IRM crew spraying reed canary grass infestation

Project/Client:  MacIver Park ,  Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation
Location:  near Estacada, OR
Scope:  During the spring of 2013, IRM completed a foliar herbicide of false brome for the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation at McIver State Park.   IRM’s restoration crew of seven treated all false brome found on the hiking trails, parking lots and disc golf course.  The purpose was to prevent further spread of the plant at this 950 acre park and other sites nearby.

Project/Client:  Mahler/Briggs Restoration, The Nature Conservancy
Location:  Eugene, OR
Scope: During the Spring of 2010, IRM was contracted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to conduct prairie restoration services using a foliar herbicide application. Due to the fact that years of restoration had already been invested into the sites, it was necessary to avoid upwards of seven native prairie species while targeting nine non-native species.

Client/Project:  METRO Parks & Natural Areas,  Sandstrom Restoration Project
Location: 
Cornelius, OR, west of Hillsboro
Scope:  
In the spring of 2013 IRM worked with METRO to develop a management plan which would provide direction for the restoration of a young forest near Cornelius, Oregon.  METRO district voters overwhelmingly supported a 2006 bond measure to purchase this 40 acre property and others like it, to protect natural areas and greenspaces.

The Sandstrom natural area consists of two forested stands.
Stand 1 – a well stocked even-aged 20 year old Douglas fir plantation, with very little diversity
Stand 2 – a more diverse stand consisting of a mix of hardwood and young conifer

The video to the right shows Stand 1 being harvested using a Comatso Harvestor.  Please visit our Low Impact Harvesting page to learn more about how IRM works with contractors who utilize  this type of “light on the ground” machinery for thinning operations.

IRM began the restoration process with a forest inventory and analysis of existing forest conditions.  The long term goal is to move the stands towards late seral forest habitat, consisting of a diverse mix of species, vertical and horizontal structure, and composition.

IRM utilized its standard forest inventory procedures to collect data on existing conditions and determine stocking, species, composition, volume, down wood resources, and existing vegetation.  IRM analyzed the inventory data to determine pre-harvest stand level conditions, and modeled various prescriptions in the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS), in order to develop a final restoration thinning prescription for the site.

The Stand Visualization System (SVS) was used to illustrate how the forest will develop in the future.

Sandstrom SVS pre trtmt
Sandstrom SVS post trtmt
Sandstrom SVS 10 yrs post trtmt
    Pre-treatment (dense 20 year old DF)                                       Post-treatment (thinned DF)                           Projected 20 year growth (post-treatment)

 

Sandstrom-Lightfoot masticating
The thinning prescription consisted of several treatments involving matrix thinning and the creation of “gaps”.

The restoration prescription involved slash abatement and mastication using IRM’s Lightfoot™ machine.

Lightfoot™ was also utilized to provide follow up site preparation for herbicide application to treat non-native and invasive weeds, and to open areas for planting of native shrubs and trees.  IRM restoration crew removed non-native cherry trees and other invasive species.

IRM foresters laid out the harvest, marked the gaps, marketed the timber and contracted with a logger to conduct a cut-to-length  logging operation using a harvester (above) and forwarder (far right).

The thinning was successfully completed in October 2013.  Follow up treatments will be conducted in the fall of 2013 and the winter of 2014 to ensure the site is restored according to the plan.

Removing non-native cherry trees

Thinning young Douglas-fir

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Restoration Thinning Projects

Project/Client:   Oak Woodland & Savannah Restoration, City of Eugene
Location:   Eugene, OR
Scope:  In an effort to restore degraded remnant oak woodland and savanna, IRM assisted the City of Eugene in a thinning project during the winter and spring of 2013.  The Wild Iris Ridge Oak Restoration project, consisted of thinning Douglas-fir trees from the overstory of the oak habitat they had encroached on.  The restoration team consisted of up to six sawyers and ten laborers.  The crew cut the fir trees, built wildlife habitat piles out of the boles of the trees and built burn piles out of the slash for later consumption.  IRM plans on continuing this work in 2014.

Project/Client:   Little White Salmon Fish Hatchery Restoration, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Location:   Columbia Gorge, Skamania County in Washington
Scope:   IRM was contracted in 2010 & 2011to implement restorative work on the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery property.  IRM developed a forest management plan for this 4,000 acre private ownership.  Restorative activities include thinning small trees to accelerate late successional forest conditions.

Project/Client:   Coburg/McKenzie Oaks Restoration, The Nature Conservancy
Location:   Coburg, OR
Scope:   IRM was hired to provide restoration services to the Nature Conservancy on the 1,244 acre Coburg Ridge Preserve, the largest privately owned nature sanctuary in the Willamette Valley. Herbicide treatments were applied to control Gernanium lucidum, a noxious forb invading Western Oregon forests. Our Lightfoot machine was used to clear invasive pear and hawthorne from savanna and prairie habitats. Douglas-fir trees threatening mature oaks were carefully thinned using a harvester-forwarder system to provide maximum protection to soils and vegetation. Prior to implementation work, we completed an analysis of current management plans and made recommendations to improve effectiveness of treatments and monitoring.

Project/Client:  Gallagher Oak Restoration
Location:  near Corvallis OR
Scope:   IRM implemented an Oregon White Oak restoration thinning project on a 50 acre ownership.  Treatments were designed to release Oak from conifer encroachment, and provide for the long term viability of the stand. IRM handled all aspect of the operation which included: silvicultural prescriptions, timber marking, log marketing, logging contract supervision, and slash treatment. IRM used a Cut-To-Length logging system to minimize damage to the residual stand, and maximize log utilization and efficiency. Activity fuels were masticated using IRM’s Lightfoot™ machine.

Fuels Reduction using LIGHTFOOT Projects

Please visit our LightfootTM page for all services and projects related to the use of our low impact Lightfoot machine.

Native Planting/Seeding Projects

Project/Client:  Willamette Bluffs Planting, Greenbelt Land Trust
Location:  near Corvallis, OR
Scope:  During the winters of 2011 and 2012, IRM completed a tree and shrub planting project for the Greenbelt Land Trust (GBLT) across various restoration sites in the Willamette Valley.  IRM supervised restoration crews of 3-7 laborers, to plant and mark over 1500 native trees and shrubs such as Oregon white oak, valley pine, Oregon grape and serviceberry.

Project/Client:  Coffin Butte Landfill Planting, Latimer Environmental, LLC
Location: 
near Corvallis, OR
Scope: 
As part of a water quality improvement project, IRM was hired by Latimer Environmental LLC to complete a restoration planting in the swales at the Coffin Butte landfill in Adair, OR.  With a six person planting crew, IRM planted a variety of native sedges and rushes into three different swales that filtered runoff from the site.

Project/Client:  WRP Native Species Planting Project, Institute for Applied Ecology
Location:  Corvallis, OR
Scope:  During the winter of 2010, IRM preformed a planting project for the Institute for Applied Ecology.  The project consisted of managing a labor crew planting up to 10 species of native grasses, forbs and sedges across four properties managed under the Wetland Reserve Program.  IRM helped develop strategies to increase efficiency, transport and plant materials and inspect crew plantings.

Project/Client:  Luckiamute State Natural Area Restoration, Luckiamute Watershed Council (LWC)
Location:  near Corvallis, OR
Scope: During the winter of 2011, IRM began work assisting the LWC on an ongoing restoration effort at the Luckiamute State Natural Area.  IRM’s contributions included masticating invasive brush species from the understory of areas that had been replanted with native riparian trees and shrubs.  In addition, IRM worked with the LWC to determine proper native species to seed in these areas and carried out the seeding in early spring of 2011.

Snag Creation Projects

Project/Client:    Starr Creek Restoration, Mid Coast Watershed Council
Location:  Alsea Bay, OR
Scope:  In order to help promote habitat diversity on the Oregon coast, IRM worked with the Wetlands Conservancy to restore a recently acquired parcel of property adjacent to Alsea Bay outside of Waldport, OR. The project included writing a management prescription for the property and conduction restoration work. With the assistance of a sawyer crew, IRM completed a variable density thinning across roughly 30 acres of Doug fir plantation, created 80 small snags, created 25 large snags, installed 8 photo points, created 10 1/8th acre openings and retained 10 1/8th acre skips. After completion of the crew work, the Wetlands Conservancy worked with local youth crews to plant hardwood, spruce and hemlock seedlings.

Project/Client:  MP Stewardship Snag Creation Project, Private Landowners Fairchild and Sleight
Location: Benton County, OR
Scope: IRM worked in collaboration with the Marys Peak Stewardship Group, Forest Restoration Partnership and two landowners applied to create 186 snags on private properties adjacent to the Siuslaw National Forest.  These properties were uniquely situated to provide habitat connectivity from the City of Corvallis Forest to the Forest Service for spotted owls and other predatory birds.  With the help from USFS Wildlife biologists, unique topping prescriptions were created and subsequently implemented by Dunn and Company Tree Services.  Permanent tags were placed on trees and maps of tree locations were created so that landowners could more easily implement monitoring for ten years into the future.

Project/Client:  Chehalem Ridge Restoration and Snag Creation, Metro
Location:  Portland, OR
Scope:  IRM was contracted by Metro to assist in a restoration project on the Chehalem Ridge Preserve located in the Tualatin Valley. IRM staff created snags to improve wildlife habitat and enhance growing conditions for Oregon White Oaks.   IRM’s Lightfoot™ was mounted with the Fecon Bullhog to masticate blackberry and other invasive plants on approximately 5 acres.

Project/Client:  Snag Trial, Deschutes Basin Land Trust
Location:  Deschutes County, OR
Scope:  IRM designed and installed an experiment to determine the most effective snag creation methods to increase wildlife use in young ponderosa pine trees. Treatments included beetle pheromones, girdling, topping, and a combination of girdling and pheromones. Preliminary results suggest pheromone treatments best simulated natural tree mortality while encouraging woodpecker foraging.

Project/Client:  Snag Creation, Willamette National Forest
Location:  Blue River, OR
Scope: IRM assisted the WNF by creating snags by saw-topping on Blue River Ranger District. Trees were topped between 40 and 100’ in height, and innoculaterd with various types of pathogens.

TES Plant Restoration Projects

Project/Client:  Nelson’s Checkermallow, Institute for Applied Ecology
Location:  Willamette Valley, OR
Scope:  During the spring of 2011 & 2012, IRM assisted the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) in developing, implementing and inspecting the harvest and planting of Nelson’s Checkermallow as a portion of a species recover plan. The project consisted of harvesting and planting over 6,000 Checkermallow rhizomes and 6,000 Checkermallow plugs at six Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) sites around the Willamette Valley. In addition to restoration that was accomplished, the project methods, production rates and eventual success will be documented as part of a larger scientific experiment and will be able to be applied to the recovery effort of other species.

Project/Client:  BPA TES Restoration/Noxious Weed Eradication, Institute for Applied Ecology
Location: Wren, OR
Scope:  During November of 2012, IRM assisted the Institute for Applied of Ecology in a noxious weed control effort surrounding a remnant population of the endangered species’ Fender’s Blue Butterfly and its threatened host Kincaid’s Lupine.  IRM preformed foliar herbicide application on selected noxious weeds within critical habitat of the Kincaid’s Lupine.

Project/Client:  Coburg Ridge, The Nature Conservancy
Location:  Coburg, OR
Scope:  The Coburg Ridge Conservation Easement contains 1,200+ acres of forest, savanna, and grassland in the Coburg Hills at the margin of the McKenzie River, on the north outskirts of Springfield, Oregon. Over the course of the past several years, IRM has been working with The Nature Conservancy who maintains a conservation easement on a portion of the property to restore critical habitat. During the late summer of 2009 IRM lead a noxious weed control effort in and around an area of the property known to have a remnant population of the endangered species’ Fender’s Blue Butterfly and Kincaid’s lupine. In addition, IRM conducted selective tree marking and a grade cruise of roughly 190 acres of degraded oak savannah habitat, which is scheduled to be thinned in the summer of 2010.

Project/Client:  OSU Kinkaid’s Lupine Restoration
Location:  near Corvallis, OR
Scope:  In 2007 IRM was hired to treat scattered patches of false brome within a remnant patch of Kincaid’s lupine on the OSU College Forest.  With the USFWS and OSU, IRM helped develop a plan to treat this invasive grass species in an effort to protect the lupine and the Fender’s blue butterfly.