Fish & Game Department in cooperation with NH Department of
Resources and Economic Development (DRED) conducted a timber
harvest at Forest Peters Wildlife Management Area in
Northwood. The harvest area included thinning 24 acres in a
hemlock stand and a series of clear cuts totaling 24 acres in a
pine-oak-maple stand. The area was accessed from Winding Hill
The hemlock thinning was part of a research project conducted by the USDA Forest Service to study the relationship of silvicultural strategies for hemlock management in eastern forests that may be threatened by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae).
According to the USDA Forest Service, the hemlock woolly adelgid is native to Asia, and is a small, aphid-like insect that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) in the Eastern United States. Hemlock woolly adelgid was first reported in the Eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia. By 2005, it was established in portions of 16 States from Maine to Georgia, where infestations covered about half of the range of hemlock. Areas of extensive tree mortality and decline are found throughout the infested region. The woolly adelgid has already been found on Northwood Lake but has not yet made its way to the Forest Peters Wildlife Management Area.
The proposed clear cuts were designed to regenerate young forest habitats in pine-oak-maple stands to create valuable wildlife habitat, already in decline in this region of the state. The cuts ranged in size from 5-10 acres each. These openings enhanced habitat conditions for wildlife species listed in the NH Wildlife Action Plan that will be a primary target for management in the project area, including black racer snakes, smooth green snakes, whip-poor-wills, and ruffed grouse among other species.
A public tour was held in August, and actual harvest activities began in September, depending on availably of the contractor who was awarded the bid. The Forest Service will continue to monitor the site for 10 years to study the effects of timber management on forest health.
Click here for a map of the Patch Cut areas, outlined in orange.