Manipulating retained structures to improve wildlife value

Principal Investigator: Jake Verchuyl, PhD, NCASI /Director of Forestry Research, Western U.S & B.C.

Collaborator: Michigan State University

Supported by: Western Trade Association Member Companies

Project Summary: Although research on the effectiveness of structural retention in clear-cuts of the Pacific Northwest has been conducted, questions remain on retention patch size, slope position of patches, and how adjacent vegetation types influence patch functionality. To address these questions, a manipulative study across 10 blocks in Washington and Oregon was implemented, with a focus on understudied animal communities, treatments that are operationally feasible, and within the bounds of existing forest practices rules. Deliverables include (1) management guidance on effects of aggregation and slope position of retained green trees on wildlife (small mammals and carabid beetles) in harvest units; (2) assessment of relationship(s) between aggregation and slope position of retained structures and wildlife (small mammals and carabid beetles) as affected by forest structure in landscapes around harvest units; and (3) determining whether the aggregation and slope of green tree retention affects population demographics of wildlife.