The logging of Sunflower Hill began on Monday, Jan. 23 with the construction of a short spur road off Jimmy Russell Road and the clearing of one large landing. Falling began on Jan. 30 and in two weeks, by Jan 10th was complete. Reclamation of skid trails took several days after that and all that now remains is the chipping of the large slash pile on the landing, the reclamation and seeding of the landing and the seeding of the skid trails. Members of the KNPS visited the logging site a number of times in February and reviewed the final product with Tembec staff on Feb. 23rd. The KNPS will now work with the Ministry of Environment, the City Fire Department and the Ministry of Forests to prepare the site for a prescribed burn in 2007.
This is the feller buncher that cut down most of the trees in the Sunflower Hill thinning project. Tembec was asked to remove both merchantable stems and smaller ones that would contribute to the fire risk on the hillside. As a result of their efforts, very little hand slashing will need to be done before the prescribed burn.
This is the hillside after logging. By carrying out the work in the winter on snow and frozen ground there is very little soil disturbance in the cutblock.
This is a composite before and after picture of the skid trail that was built across the middle of Sunflower Hill. The picture on the left shows the road after it was built and before logging took place. On the right, the road has been recontoured and will now be seeded.
A temporary bridge was placed across the stream that runs down beside Jimmy Russell Road to allow equipment access to the logging unit to the west. The bridge has since been removed and the skid trail reclaimed.
As the skidders pulled bundles of trees across the hillside, thousands of branches broke off against the ground and the standing trees. We will be working throughout the summer to pull the piles of branches away from the leave trees and scatter them on the hillside. This will provide fuel to carry the prescribed fire along the ground but will prevent it from killing too many trees.