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Habitat Project with Local Ruffed Grouse Society Chapter
Northeast Region, February 15, 2013
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Refuge staff member Ken Witkowski with Jim Desaye, local Ruffed Grouse Society Chapter President, and volunteer crew
Refuge staff member Ken Witkowski with Jim Desaye, local Ruffed Grouse Society Chapter President, and volunteer crew - Photo Credit: USFWS
Thinned out stand of Aspens
Thinned out stand of Aspens - Photo Credit: USFWS
Refuge Greenhouse with Dogwood shrub seedlings
Refuge Greenhouse with Dogwood shrub seedlings - Photo Credit: USFWS

This habitat management project consisted of thinning out an existing grove of Quaking Aspen trees. Once thinned out, these trees will spread from the root system and regrow over a wider area. The increased stem density will be to the benefit of nesting American Woodcock which is common in the Wallkill River valley and in particular in this area. A secondary aspect of this project was to remove the extensive strands of barbed wire that can be found around this site. As part of our habitat management planning, this will be a designated shrub/scrub corridor. With the wire removed, we are planning to thin out stands of Red Maple and replace them with a variety of wetland shrubs. A small greenhouse and nursery operation was started by refuge staff in 2009. We have had considerable success on a small scale producing several species of wetland shrubs such as buttonbush, gray dogwood and silky dogwood. Some of these will be planted in spring and fall of 2013 to enhance this habitat project.


Contact Info: Ken Witkowski, 973-702-7266 ext. 14, kenneth_witkowski@fws.gov



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