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Wild About the Woods

Posted by on Nov 26, 2016 in Blog |

This blog was born out of a teacher asking “wouldn’t it be great if we had some way to better learn about what other educators and their students are doing in the Hyla Woods forests?”.   Of course, those of us on the Hyla Woods team responded with two things: 1) an enthusiastic “yes!”, and 2) a this blog. Five years and many posts later, the experiment has been a success and the blog provides an ever evolving and growing compendium chronicling the good work done in the forests – by students of all types. In keeping with that spirit, we encourage you to read this recently published piece by Catlin Gabel School second grade teachers Natanya Biskar and Laura Morton summarizing their students’ explorations and discoveries in the Timber Forest.  It is particularly exciting to see how this work fits into both the yearlong work of the second grade as well as the school’s overarching educational philosophy....

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Analysis of Hyla Woods Bird Research

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Blog |

Effects of Management Practices on Avian Abundance in Oregon Coast Range Forests Molly Hayes Biology-Environmental Studies Whitman College 2014 Advisor: Delbert Hutchison  Abstract Forestry in Oregon has traditionally used an industrial model aimed to maximize timber production and revenue, with little attention to the potentially negative affects on ecosystem health and biological diversity. However, some landowners have begun experimenting with more sustainable management practices. This study examines the affect of some of these innovative silvicultural techniques on avian abundance and diversity in the Oregon Coast Range. Data on bird number and species were collected across designated stops for three years with each stop characterized by forest type (predominantly Douglas fir, mixed, or predominantly a species other than Douglas fir), understory (woody shrub, fern, or herbaceous), and treatment (control, lightly thinned, thinned, or patch cut). Total number of birds, number of birds in certain foraging guilds, and four indicator songbird species were compared across stops. Because data were collected with no clear analysis in mind, not all combinations of stop characteristics could be considered. Data were analyzed using one and two-way ANOVA, and results were corrected using the Bonferroni correction. While no significant results were found related to forest type or understory, birds clearly preferred the lightly thinned treatment. Studies analyzing all combinations of forest characteristics and comparing sustainably managed forests to industry methods should be implemented to more thoroughly answer the question of what management practices maximize forest ecosystem health.   Introduction Commercial forestry has remained a predominant use of forestland in Oregon since the mid-1800s (Oregon Forest Resources Institute 2013). Forests cover about half of Oregon, and roughly 80% of that forestland supports growth of commercial-grade timber. The vast majority of management of working forests in Oregon uses an industrial model aimed to maximize timber production and revenue, with little attention to the potentially negative effects on ecosystem health and biological diversity (Jones et al. 2012, Oregon Forest Resources Institute 2013). Industrial forest management uses a rotational monoculture crop system, heavy application of herbicides, and large clear cuts to maximize production of Douglas fir, the main commercial forestry crop in the Northwest (Oregon wild 2012). A focus on...

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