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FWS Seeks Partners in Woody Biomass Removal and Utilization for Restoration of Wildlife Habitat

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for commercial tree cutting/clearing contractors who wish to provide services to help improve habitat for grassland dependent bird species. In continued efforts to restore historic prairie wetland complexes we wish to remove non-native or invading woody species in specific areas and plant native grasses and forbs. Some of the species that may be removed would include buckthorn, green ash, black locust, aspen and box elder. We may also remove planted stands of pines. Based on species, diameter, soundness, or stocking levels; the bulk of the trees to be removed is considered “unmerchantable” by conventional logging standards. However, trees may be chipped and utilized as bio-fuel, mulch, or similar products. Generally we will not pay for tree clearing services, but the contractor may recapture operational costs by marketing these products. 

Project Description 
The biomass removal areas consist of approximately 200 acres scattered over 7 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) in St. Croix County, WI. These properties are relatively flat however rocks and broken topography (potholes, steep hills and draws) may be present in the project areas. There are short, steep slopes associated with wetlands. Tree diameter at breast height (DBH) ranges from 1” inches to approximately 30 inches but most areas contain trees of 8” or less. Tree stocking levels and tree heights are highly variable over the sites. The contractor will, in some cases, be required to perform the work in a manner that will prevent damage to residual trees while removing adjacent trees.  
 
Tree Cutting /Chipping Specifications 
1. Cut and remove all trees > 2” DBH, except white and Burr oak. 
2. Leave any oak over 14” DBH. 
3. Stumps must be flat-topped and cut to < 3” above mineral soil whenever possible. 
4. Boom-mounted tree harvestors are required due to the necessity to remove trees associated with wetland slopes. 
5. Tree-length skidding required. 
6. Trees and associated slash must be chipped or otherwise processed and removed from sites. 
 
Operational Period 
All projects shall be completed by March 15, 2015. Some project areas are environmentally sensitive and allow for work only when the ground is frozen. Due to the spring nesting season, there will be no work conducted nor biomass chipping and/or removal from March 15th through July 15th of each year. 
 
Partnership Proposal Deadline: 2:00 p.m. December 21, 2013 
Contact us by the above deadline if you are interested in this biomass removal partnership or require additional information. In the event of multiple interested parties, the Fish and Wildlife Service may choose to divide the project areas among partners or award the entire project to one party. Potential partnerships will be evaluated based on services offered, technical qualifications, available equipment, and past performance. 
 
Information Contact: 
Joel Kemm, Fire Management Specialist 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
1764 95th St. 
New Richmond, WI 54017 
(715) 246-7784 
(715) 781-2893 Cell 
Joel_kemm@fws.gov 

 
Last Updated: Dec 23, 2013
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