Easter Lake South Shore Woodland Restoration Project
Easter Lake South Shore Woodland Restoration Project 2020 - 2024
Polk County Conservation and Iowa DNR unite to conduct timber stand improvement (TSI) on 43.6 acres of hardwood timber on the south shore of Easter Lake. This area is overgrown with multiple invasive species (honeysuckle, oriental bittersweet, green briar, and garlic mustard). This project will include several practices to restore this woodland including removal of invasive species, crop tree release and prescribed fire over the span of 4-5 years.
1930’s aerial photos were analyzed prior to the woodland inventory. The inventory looked at invasive species pressure, species composition and size. Crop trees that will be saved were then selected (Bur oak, Red Oak, White Oak, Shagbark Hickory and Walnut. These crop trees are typically high-value mast-producing specie that have superior structure and will provide food for wildlife and seed for future generations of crop trees.
The targeted area of woodland has been divided into various stands, each with a specific management goal and a prescription to meet the overall goals of:
- Improving infiltration of storm water due to increasing a healthy native herbaceous understory
- Reducing nutrient load into Easter Lake
- Improving wildlife habitat and use, subsequently increasing opportunity for public to view wildlife
- Improving public use opportunity for wildflower viewing, mushroom hunting, etc.)
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