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Volunteers and Dedicated Hunters

Tabby Mountain pinyon/juniper removal

Starting on May 27, 2014

At Beer Spring Unnamed Road, Tabiona, UT 84072, USA

ronstewart@utah.gov

Categories: All projects , Habitat

This year, our Tabby Mountain pinion/juniper removal project is at a new site on the west side of the WMA. The new site is roughly five miles north of Fruitland. Like our other sites, it is mostly a sagebrush flat with interspersed P/J forest. DH's should take all of the trees out of the sagebrush areas within the designated area, but leave half of the pinyon pine in the thicker stands. However, if trees along the access routes are encroaching on the road close enough to scratch vehicles, please feel free to cut them. To Receive Dedicated Hunter Credit: 1) Prior to going in the field, pick up a 2014 timesheet/volunteer agreement at one of the Division offices, fill in your Name and sign it and the Job Description (Tabby Mountain PJ removal project) and have a Division employee sign it. (The employee’s signature, on the DWR authorizing signature line, only activates the insurance policy; it does not make them the project leader. You are your own project leader.) One individual may pick up agreements for everyone who will be involved (including kids over 12), fill in names and get them signed. Timesheets are good for two weeks. 2) You may go out at your convenience and I do not need to be informed of when you go. 3) Please record date, travel time, work on site time and mileage on the timesheet. I use mileage once you reach a highway to check travel time. Break out drive/travel time from on-site time and write down which is which. I will give credit for drive/ travel time and cutting time for everyone in the car. I do not give credit for gas, use of equipment, vehicle or mileage. Mileage is only recorded to check drive times ~ 50 miles/hour. Plan to stay overnight rather than trying to commute. Drive time can not exceed work time and I will not give credit for driving long distances on consecutive dates. If you have a long drive, you may want to check the website to find a closer project. 4) Take before and after photos of the work done and send a few to me. These can be film or digital and either mailed or emailed. If you decide to email the photos, please convert them to small files. Email photos and information, other than time sheets, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. this also helps as a backup and a way for me to contact you if I have questions. A note or a map of where you cut is useful and if you have ideas on how to make the project better, please include those also. 5) You may work more than the eight or 16 hours required per year and I recommend getting as many hours as you need for the entire enrollment period as quickly as you can. You never know what will keep you from doing hours next year. I can give Dedicated Hunter credit up to or even beyond the hours needed during a three-year period but it cannot be applied toward a future DH enrollment nor may I credit hours worked by another individual. You must work your own. 6) Send the original timesheets, photos and other information back to Utah Wildlife Resources, Attn: Ron Stewart, 318 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal Utah 84078. I need the original timesheet, not a copy or an email version. The signed, original volunteer agreement/time sheet (of the correct year) is the only way to make it official. 7) On some occasions, organized groups such as the Mule Deer Foundation and Boy Scout troops have lead trips to work on this project. This is welcomed and appreciated. Generally, a "project leader” is named and given extra time sheets and authority to sign. 8) After I receive the original timesheets and photos, I will enter it in the database. Please return the timesheet as soon as possible. It may take a couple of weeks before it gets entered depending mail services, vacations and other workload. Note: credit will be given for the hours worked cutting down trees and drive/travel time (within reason). Other time such as eating, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, gas, equipment, etc. will not be considered for credit. Finally, have some fun! Take along family, friends and make a day or weekend of the event. There is good fishing and camping nearby as well as good places to watch wildlife such as Starvation Reservoir and the Uinta Mountains. Thank you for considering this project!! Note: In the islands of trees, take out the Juniper but leave half of the pinyon pine. This will thin the trees out enough and still leave a few trees for thermal and visual cover. It will also leave shelter and pine cones for food for squirrels and birds.
Cutting Area for 2014 Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Pinyon / Juniper Removal Project Thanks for your interest in the Tabby Mountain Pinyon / Juniper Removal Project. Dedicated Hunters have already saved the Division thousands of dollars on the cuttings done in the Rabbit Gulch/Tabby Mountain area. Designed to enhance deer and elk winter range, this project removes young pinyon and juniper trees (P/J) that are encroaching into preferred foraging areas. This year we will move to a new site on the west side of the WMA. The new site is roughly five miles north of Fruitland. Like our other sites, it is mostly a sagebrush flat with interspersed P/J forest. DH's should take all of the trees out of the sagebrush areas and leave half of the pinyon pine in the thicker stands. However, if trees along the access routes are encroaching on the road close enough to scratch vehicles, please feel free to cut them. In the islands of trees, take out the Juniper but leave half of the pinyon pine. This will thin the trees out enough and still leave a few trees for thermal and visual cover. It will also leave shelter and pine cones for food for squirrels and birds. Maps and driving instructions are attached. We ask that you try to limit your activities to dry days and to stay on the roads. No sense creating ruts, other road problems and damage to the winter range for a few trees. Why Do We Remove Pinyon/Juniper The Tabby Mountain foothills are a critical wintering area for elk, deer, sagegrouse and other wildlife. Over the years, there has been a considerable amount of habitat work done to enhance this area. This project joins numerous chainings, lop and scatter (tree cutting) and reseeding projects designed to promote shrub, forbs and grass growth to improve watershed conditions and to provide winter forage for deer and elk. P/J trees are rapidly invading the old chainings and areas with sagebrush and other plants more critical to winter survival. As the trees grow larger and more abundant, they consume increasing amounts of water and nutrients making them unavailable for shrubs and understory plants such as grasses and forbs. Within another 30 to 50 years, this valuable winter range will become a mature P/J forest, which will contain little or no understory vegetation. In short: little forage = few mule deer, elk or anything else. To protect the forage on these winter ranges, we have a few options: burning, chemical treatment, chaining and physical (tree-by-tree) removal. Prescribed burns and chemicals kill trees but also kill the shrubs so we lose forage values. Chaining protects more shrubs but gives only marginal results in an area being invaded by small trees. The younger trees are flexible and bend under the chain, thus only a few older trees would actually be uprooted. In addition, chemical, chaining and fire treatments can be politically sensitive and are expensive. With tight budgets, physical removal seems to be the best option currently available. Dedicated hunters and other volunteers played a major role in the rehabilitation of the Rabbit Gulch, Trail Hollow and the upper and lower Santaquin Draw chainings. Not only have they removed thousands of pinyon and juniper trees, the money saved by not chaining or paying a contractor to do the work has allowed the Division to take on new projects. Several of these are within a few miles of Rabbit Gulch on both sides of Highway 208 where the DWR has chained or cut old sagebrush and P/J. Beer Springs Beer Springs is a mix of old and new. Some is forested and some is mostly sagebrush flats. The goal of the project is to remove the young pinyon and juniper trees (P/J) that are encroaching into preferred elk and deer foraging areas. Take all the Juniper but leave half of the Pinyon Pine in the islands. However, if you find an old monarch, just leave it, it is not worth the time, effort or possible damage to the axe or saw to take it. The perimeter has been flagged with pink and black stripped flagging. Remember, it is the smaller trees invading the sagebrush flat that need to be removed. Driving Instructions: To get to the site from Highway 40, turn north at milepost 62 across from the Big G store and travel toward Red Creek Reservoir roughly 4.25 miles. Take a sharp right at the Tabby Mt. WMA entrance and drive uphill. Follow the road east and then north about .85 miles to Beer Springs. The dirt road continues through the cutting area. Park along the road and walk in to avoid damaging the winter range we are trying to enhance. Rules, Regulations and Helpful Hints: Suggestions: 1) Map - the USGS Duchesne 1:100,000 map is useful to reach the site and shows the entire area. 2) Vehicles are restricted to the main existing roads. Please park along the road itself, do not drive off or follow the small two tracks. Do not take 4-wheelers or other off-road vehicles off the existing (main) roads. This area is a critical winter range and the fewer roads the better. 3) Cut only the pinyon and juniper. Other trees and bushes are much scarcer and have more values for wildlife. In the sagebrush areas, take all the trees, including the small seedlings. A chainsaw is recommended but not required. An axe, Pulaski (ax/flat pick combo), handsaw, clippers or shovel may make removing the smaller trees and branches easier. Spare blades and possibly an extra saw are also recommended. Pinyon Pine – needle shaped leaves Juniper – scaled leaves 4) Cut trees within two inches of the ground and remove all limbs and pine needles below the cut. If any branches, needles or anything green is left on the stump, the tree will continue to grow and eventually one or more branches will become a main trunk. Notes: • Tree shears may help with cutting the remaining branches. • It’s also easier to work in pairs. One person cuts the tree while the other works as the spotter and helps to hold branches. • Another trick is to cut the top off at knee or waist high, pull it out of the way, and then cut again at ground level. • If you do not have an axe or chainsaw, you may still participate. Often other tree cutters miss a green branch while cutting. Someone trailing along behind or scouting through areas where others have cut with a tree shear or small saw can make a valuable contribution by cutting off these branches. 5) Leave the trees where they fall; small trees can be left whole. For larger trees, de-limb the trunk [cut off the branches] and cut the branches into three-foot sections. The trunk can remain whole. Removing the branches helps by allowing the tree to settle to the ground and it removes tripping hazards. These fallen trees and branches will also help: a) prevent erosion, b) catch moisture by trapping blowing snow and c) provide valuable microhabitats for small animals and plants. 6) Take as many safety precautions as you can while cutting such as using quality eye wear, gloves, heavy boots, etc. That includes drinking water regularly to avoid dehydration. Also, do not go solo; take along someone who can be there in case of an emergency. 7) Pack it in; pack it out. Please take your litter home and leave the area as clean or cleaner than you found it. 8) Whenever you venture outdoors, make a plan and stick to it. Tell someone where you are going, when you will return and leave maps if you can. If you have a cell phone, bring it. Planning and leaving the information with someone will increase your chances of being found by giving search and rescue crews the correct place to look. 9) There are no organized campgrounds or camping areas in this area. Our recommendation would be to stay at Starvation Reservoir, which has a State Park with a camping area, boat ramp and water. It also has some excellent walleye, bass, perch and trout fishing. 10) Take along extra water, food, gas, spare tires, etc. The cutting area is not far from civilization and it is close to a main road but it is always good to go prepared for emergencies. To Receive Dedicated Hunter Credit: 1) Prior to going in the field, pick up a 2014 timesheet/volunteer agreement at one of the Division offices, fill in your Name and sign it and the Job Description (Tabby Mountain PJ removal project) and have a Division employee sign it. (The employee’s signature, on the DWR authorizing signature line, only activates the insurance policy; it does not make them the project leader. You are your own project leader.) One individual may pick up agreements for everyone who will be involved (including kids over 12), fill in names and get them signed. Timesheets are good for two weeks. 2) You may go out at your convenience and I do not need to be informed of when you go. 3) Please record date, travel time, work on site time and mileage on the timesheet. I use mileage once you reach a highway to check travel time. Break out drive/travel time from on-site time and write down which is which. I will give credit for drive/ travel time and cutting time for everyone in the car. I do not give credit for gas, use of equipment, vehicle or mileage. Mileage is only recorded to check drive times ~ 50 miles/hour. Plan to stay overnight rather than trying to commute. Drive time can not exceed work time and I will not give credit for driving long distances on consecutive dates. If you have a long drive, you may want to check the website to find a closer project. 4) Take before and after photos of the work done and send a few to me. These can be film or digital and either mailed or emailed. If you decide to email the photos, please convert them to small files. Email photos and information, other than time sheets, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. this also helps as a backup and a way for me to contact you if I have questions. A note or a map of where you cut is useful and if you have ideas on how to make the project better, please include those also. 5) You may work more than the eight or 16 hours required per year and I recommend getting as many hours as you need for the entire enrollment period as quickly as you can. You never know what will keep you from doing hours next year. I can give Dedicated Hunter credit up to or even beyond the hours needed during a three-year period but it cannot be applied toward a future DH enrollment nor may I credit hours worked by another individual. You must work your own. 6) Send the original timesheets, photos and other information back to Utah Wildlife Resources, Attn: Ron Stewart, 318 North Vernal Avenue, Vernal Utah 84078. I need the original timesheet, not a copy or an email version. The signed, original volunteer agreement/time sheet (of the correct year) is the only way to make it official. 7) On some occasions, organized groups such as the Mule Deer Foundation and Boy Scout troops have lead trips to work on this project. This is welcomed and appreciated. Generally, a "project leader” is named and given extra time sheets and authority to sign. 8) After I receive the original timesheets and photos, I will enter it in the database. Please return the timesheet as soon as possible. It may take a couple of weeks before it gets entered depending mail services, vacations and other workload. Note: credit will be given for the hours worked cutting down trees and drive/travel time (within reason). Other time such as eating, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, gas, equipment, etc. will not be considered for credit. Finally, have some fun! Take along family, friends and make a day or weekend of the event. There is good fishing and camping nearby as well as good places to watch wildlife such as Starvation Reservoir and the Uinta Mountains. Thank you for considering this project!!

2014-05-27 00:00:00
2014-12-31 09:49:10

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