Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Wichita Mountains Fire Crew Removes 120 Acres of Invading Eastern Red Cedar Trees at Tishomingo NWR
Southwest Region, September 9, 2009
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Cedars cut with a tree shear in the Cottonwood Pond unit.
Cedars cut with a tree shear in the Cottonwood Pond unit. - Photo Credit: n/a
Tree shear unit on a skid steer.
Tree shear unit on a skid steer. - Photo Credit: n/a

  As the landscape on Tishomingo NWR becomes more and more inundated with invading Eastern Red Cedar trees the refuge is determined to fight back and re-claim the once prominent Cross Timbers habitat.  A crew of three fire team members armed with two skid steers with tree shear attachments on each removed an impressive 120 acres of cedar trees from the heart of the refuge.  The removal of the invading cedars from within native grasslands is a tremendous benefit to declining species of grassland birds that depend on grasslands for nesting.  The Eastern Red Cedar tree, once cut off at ground level with a tree shear, will not re-sprout thus removing it from the habitat.

Currently, Eastern Red Cedar is costing the State of Oklahoma $218 million a year in loss of wildlife habitat, cattle forage, recreation, and water yield.  According to the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the problem will reach an astounding $447 million by 2013 if steps are not taken to control the growing population of cedar.

Contact Info: Kristopher Patton, (580) 371-2402, Kris_Patton@fws.gov
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