Cutting Area for 2016 Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
The Tabby Mountain Pinyon/Juniper (P/J) Project is the removal of young P/J trees that are encroaching into important elk and deer foraging areas.
Location: Beer Springs--roughly 5 miles north of Fruitland on the west side of the Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area. It is mostly a sagebrush flat with interspersed P/J forest. Generally, volunteers will focus on removing small P/J trees. Trees encroaching established roads, (close enough to scratch vehicles) may also be removed.
Volunteers will limit service activities to dry weather days (so vehicles do not create ruts or cause damage to roads). Volunteers will not use vehicles off-road. Please protect the habitat you are working on, and keep your vehicle on the roads.
Why Do We Remove Pinyon/Juniper The Tabby Mountain foothills are a critical wintering area for elk, deer, sage-grouse and other wildlife. P/J trees can rapidly invade land areas and consume increasing amounts of water and nutrients which reduces shrubs, grasses, and forbs. Over the years, there has been a considerable amount of habitat work done to enhance this wildlife area. This project helps maintain the previous habitat work.
Driving Directions: 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 0.85 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. The maps in this posting show the designated project area.
Rules 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 road and do not follow the small two tracks. Do not take 4-wheelers or other off-road vehicles off the existing (main) roads.
3) Cut only the pinyon and juniper. All the other trees and bushes in the area are valuable to wildlife. In the sagebrush areas, take all the P/J trees, including the small seedlings. In the islands of trees, volunteers will remove the juniper but will leave half of the pinyon pine. Leaving pinyons will thin the trees out while keeping some places for wildlife to escape from predators, storms, and extreme temperatures.
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 re-grow. Do not leave sharp pointed stumps that can injure people or wildlife.
5) The perimeter has been flagged with pink and black striped flagging. Remember, it is the smaller trees invading the sagebrush flat that need to be removed. If you find a monarch (big old tree), leave it and move on to the smaller and younger trees.
Notes: • Many volunteers have found that pruning shears/loppers make cutting branches easy and fast. • It’s easier to work in pairs. While one person cuts branches, the other pulls them out of the way. • Some people prefer to cut the tree trunk at waist height, pull it out of the way, and then cut the main trunk again at ground level. • A chainsaw is recommended but not required. Other effective tools are: axes, Pulaski (axe/flat pick combo), bowsaws, pruners, loppers, and shovels. These trees can dull saw blades and chains quickly. Consider taking extras or files to resharpen. If you do not have an axe or chainsaw, you may still participate. Often other tree cutters miss a green branch while cutting. Double-checking prior volunteer efforts and cutting missed branches or saplings can be a valuable contribution.
5) Leave the trees where they fall. Small trees can be left whole. Larger trees need to be de-limbed (cut branches off of the trunk). Large branches should be cut into 3-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. Fallen trees and branches also help to prevent erosion, catch moisture, and provide valuable microhabitats for small animals and plants.
6) Take all safety precautions while on this project. -Make a plan (travel time and routes, work location, direction you plan to work in, and when you will return). Stick to your plan. -Make sure someone knows when and where you are going and when you will be back home. -Protect yourself and others from injuries and accidents. Most chainsaw injuries are to the legs, knees and feet. Volunteers must wear long pants and closed-toed boots/shoes, safety glasses, and work gloves while using chainsaws, hatchets, or axes. Protective chaps are highly recommended. -Don’t go alone. -Drink water regularly to avoid dehydration. -Prepare for emergencies. Make sure your spare tire has air; your first aid kit is stocked, and you have enough food, water, and flashlights in case you have to stay longer than you planned.
7) Pack it in; pack it out. Please take your litter home and leave the area better than you found it. There aren’t any organized campgrounds, nor any camping within this project area. If you plan to work more than 1 day, we recommend camping overnight at Starvation Reservoir. This State Park has a nice camping area, boat ramp, and water. It also has some excellent walleye, bass, perch and trout fishing.
To Receive Dedicated Hunter Credit: 1) Before you go to the project area: -Pick up a 2016 timesheet/volunteer agreement at a Division office. -Fill out the timesheet with the Project Name and Description: Tabby Mountain PJ removal project. Have a DWR employee sign the timesheet before you leave. One person may pick up timesheets for the entire group. -One member of your group will be the Project Leader listed on the timesheet and will make sure that everyone fills out, and signs the agreements/timesheets completely—before any work begins. It is recommended that the group leader keep all the timesheets together in one safe place, and turn them in together when the work concludes.
You may plan and go out and do this project at your convenience. We request that you pick up your timesheets, do your service work, and return the timesheets to the DWR within a 1-2 week period.
2) When you arrive: The Project leader will make sure that dates, daily description of work, and hours claimed are accurate and recorded on the timesheet.
Service hour credit is not given for the time driving to, or from the work area. Vehicle fuel expense and credit for equipment is also not given service hours credit. Your service hour time begins when you reach the entrance to the Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area. 3) After the Project: Send the original timesheets, photos and other information back to: Utah Wildlife Resources, Attn: Dedicated Hunter Program, 318 North Vernal Avenue Vernal, UT 84078. (some volunteers like to make a copy of the paperwork for their own records). After DWR receives your paperwork, the service credit will be entered into the computer within 2 weeks.
Links to more Utah hunting-related information