The Ministry of Environment has formally established a 72.8 hectare Wildlife Habitat Area (WHA) inside the Nature Park for the Williamson's Sapsucker ( WISA). (See map below.) They have asked Heather Pinnell, a registered professional Forester who works for the Ministry to develop a treatment plan for the area which will address interface fire concerns, pine beetle issues and the need to maintain appropriate habitat for the woodpecker. Biologist Chris Steeger spent a number of days in the area earlier this winter looking at snags, nest trees, coarse woody debris and other elements that make for good WISA habitat. Chris's report which you can download here, will be used by Heather to develop the treatment plan.
The Ministry has a small amount of funding for treatment that needs to be spent by the end of March 2008. They are considering using the money to fund the logging of a small (.85 hectare) patch of lodgepole pine near the junction of Duck Pond Trail and Apache Trail. Heather is concerned that the pine may be attracting pine beetle which is then attacking big old ponderosa pine. Only lodgepole pine would be cut and the trees would be dragged to Forest Crowne for processing. No roads or skid trails would be constructed and the operation would take 2 days. We will have more information about his proposal in the near future.
The WHA is located near the border of Forest Crowne.
A male Williamson's sapsucker near its nesting hole in a mature western larch.