F 321 – Project Description

F 321 – Course Project

Premise: You have been assigned by your boss to serve as consultant to the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch. The Ranch has a history of active land management and seeks to continue this trend into the future. A portion of the Ranch referred to as Demming Valley has been identified to receive some kind of restoration management. The land owner is open to a wide range of management approaches and is seeking a comprehensive understanding of the current stand structure and condition as well as guidance on short to moderate term (10-40 years) management outcomes to help achieve the following objectives:

  • To keep a healthy forest through maintenance of functional ecosystems; restoration and maintenance of forest stands; control of insects, diseases and invasive plants; and following sustainable grazing practices.
  • To enhance the forest’s resilience to fire through thinning, fuels reduction, and reforestation.
  • To maintain a forest that protects water quality and quantity, riparian areas, and wildlife habitat.
  • To manage a forest that provides multiple uses including wildlife habitat, recreation and educational opportunities, forest products, and feed for cattle.

The land owner was able to provide the following description and the three appended maps:

The unit is ~307 acres of mostly ponderosa pine woodlands with some aspen, Douglas-fir, and juniper mixed in. This portion of the Ranch has seen only targeted thinning to protect camping areas, along with some cattle grazing. There is a high level of variability in tree densities across the stand, with the highest densities occurring where Douglas-fir has been regenerating. In general, the slopes in the stand are less than 30 percent across a mixture of aspects, with interspersed rock outcroppings. Mountain pine beetle is believed to have been active across this portion of the Ranch. An inventory from 1999 showed that most stands on the Ranch were overstocked with a large percentage of suppressed small diameter trees.

The project will include the following elements:

  1. Project Proposal – This element requires you to write a formal plan of work (proposal) to your boss.
  2. Project Presentation – The presentation is your chance to communicate those intangible elements of your project directly to the client.
  3. Project Report – This element will contain all of the traditional components of a scientific write-up.