Salvage Cut Planned for the Dr. Michael Cline Memorial Forest

Due to two years of spongy moth activity, Tin Mountain will be conducting a salvage cut this winter in the Dr. Michael Cline Memorial Forest on Bald Hill Road in Albany, NH.  The spongy moth is an invasive species that is native to Europe and Asia. They have population cycles that include ‘boom’ years where outbreaks occur, leading to the defoliation of large swaths of forests. During the summers of 2021 and 2022, spongy moths caused a dramatic defoliation of deciduous and hemlock trees in our area. While some healthy trees have been able to withstand two consecutive defoliation events, some did not.  The spongy moth activity, coupled with two summers of drought and other factors likely induced by climate change, caused severe damage to red oak trees on this property to the point where many did not survive. Oaks were particularly hard-hit, as they are a preferred species of spongy moth caterpillars.

To avoid these trees becoming a hazard, our forester, Daniel Stepanauskas, has chosen trees to remove in a commercial harvest this winter. Some dead trees will be retained for habitat purposes. While we are sad to lose some of the large oaks on our property, we will continue our ongoing forest songbird study that began in 2010. We will be able to track both the forest songbird and the habitat response to the removal of some large canopy trees, and to the spongy moth outbreak. Our resident bird Intern, Logan Anderson, is currently designing a project to measure the impact of both the spongy moth outbreak and the timber harvest on songbird communities. This research will continue in the years going forward.

Questions or concerns? Contact Lori Kinsey