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Volunteers and Dedicated Hunters

Pinyon/juniper removal Tabby Mountain

From May 04, 2015 until October 01, 2015

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

ronstewart@utah.gov

Cutting Area for 2015 Tabby Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Pinyon / Juniper Removal Project

The Tabby Mountain Pinyon / Juniper (P/J) Removal Project designed to enhance deer and elk winter range. This project is the removal of young P/J that are encroaching into preferred foraging areas for wildlife.

2015 Note: a new safety section regarding this project has been added. It is important that you read, initial, and attach it to your timesheet. The accounting of project hour credit for Dedicated Hunters has also been changed from previous years.

The location for this project is Beer Springs, roughly five 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 pinion/juniper trees out of the sagebrush areas. Trees encroaching on 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 other damage to winter range). Volunteers will not use vehicles off-road. Please protect the habitat you are working on and keep all vehicles 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. 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 other areas with sagebrush and plants critical to winter survival. As the trees grow larger and more abundant, they consume increasing amounts of water and nutrients making the shrubs, grasses, and forbs scarce. Without maintenance, within 30 to 50 years, this valuable winter range can become a mature P/J forest with little or no understory vegetation. In short, little forage = few mule deer, elk or anything else.

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.

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), just leave it and move on to the smaller and younger trees.

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. This will thin the trees out enough to encourage forage growth while providing thermal and visual cover. It will also leave shelter and pine cones which provide food for squirrels and birds.

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.

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. This project type wears saw blades and chains quickly. Consider taking extras. 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.
-Tell someone who will not be on your trip (family, friends, etc.), what your plan is and when they should expect you to return.
-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 leave: -Pick up a 2015 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.

-NEW in 2015: The Project Leader (someone from your group) will need to attach a copy of the Volunteer Service Description (found in the last part of this project information) to each timesheet and make sure each person initials that they read it. *Each person needs their own signed timesheet and Volunteer Service Description.

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 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. The Mileage section should only be filled in for the driver/owner of each vehicle. The hours given for Dedicated Hunter credit begin when you arrive at the work area.
-Service hour credit is not given for the time it takes you to drive from your home to the work area. Vehicle fuel expense is also not credited in your service hours.
3) After the Project: Send the original timesheets, Volunteer Service Description, photos and other information back to: Utah Wildlife Resources, Attn: Ron Stewart, 318 North Vernal Avenue Vernal, Utah 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. 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 helping with this project!!

The following section needs to be printed and attached to the timesheet:

Volunteer Service Description: Pinion/Juniper Thinning Project

The goal of the project is for Dedicated Hunters and other volunteers to safely remove young pinyon and juniper trees encroaching into preferred foraging areas of elk, deer and other wildlife.

Volunteers will participate in the removal of all Juniper and approximately half of the Pinion trees. Removal means: cutting branches and main stems so that the trunk/stem is nearly level to the ground. Many of the trees being removed will be saplings and small trees.

P/J thinning projects include walking over various terrain types, moving through forested and brushy areas, working on hot days exposed to the sun, and may involve the use of a variety of hand tools or power tools such as pruners, axes, handsaws and chainsaws. Potential risks include (but are not limited to): dehydration, strains from physical exertion, cuts, scrapes, or other injuries associated with the aforementioned activities. Volunteers participating in this project assure they are in good health and physically able to provide service on this project. This project may require strenuous physical exertion, including lifting heavy objects, crouching or crawling in restricted areas, and use of tools to cut and remove trees in a recurring manner for long periods of time. Proper personal protective equipment: safety glasses, gloves, chaps, sturdy boots, long pants, ear protection, hats and other appropriate safety gear should be used. Volunteers are also required to have a first-aid kit with them while working on this project.

Initials: ___________

2015-05-04 00:00:00
2015-10-01 09:49:00

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