Project Nears Homes Removes Trees and Weeds
A project at Erie National Wildlife Refuge removed 35-acres of fire-prone exotic pine trees and a sprawling thicket of invasive noxious weeds in areas with homes nearby. The project, completed in September 2007, was part of a multi-year invasive plant control effort aimed at reducing hazardous fuels and restoring the habitat on more than 55 acres of refuge land on the Pennsylvania refuge. Contractors with local companies performed much of the work.
Located adjacent to the state highway, local roads and residences, the pine plantation was a remnant of an old Christmas tree farm that had significantly edged out the native hardwood in the area. Because of the potential fire threat to the community, the trees were cut down, their limbs and tops mulched, and the biomass was left on site.
In addition, a dense growth of invasive multiflora rose was removed that had spread over a 20-acre area in the sensitive and globally rare fen community on the refuge.
In a separate project, fire program sawyers removed small, isolated stands of exotic pines near refuge parking lots and girdled several non-native pines near the highway. Then, in early summer 2007, herbicide was applied to sprouting multiflora rose scattered in and around shrub fen. A second application will be made in 2008.
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