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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The FIA was Here

We have participated in a survey program with the United States Dept. of Agriculture for the past 20-some years called the Forest Inventory and Analysis program. We are proud to be a small part of such an important program that collects vital information from a tiny one acre plot of our forest. One of the inventory plots, one for every 6,000 acres, out of 174 million acres of forest land spread across 24 states, just happens to fall within the property we manage and own. How cool is that! This is the 2nd time I have walked along, but this time, GrandLove Sy, just happened to be visiting, so he got in on a great Field Trip with myself and Local Forester, John. Out came the Deet-powered bug spray for the next two and a half hours.
These surveys are done every 5-7 years, maps are scribbled with notes here and there, giving the approximate locations until the actual markers are found and re-recorded using GPS systems, one of the many items hanging around John's neck, waist, vest and in his pockets. He was well attired for his mission. On the map, bottom right corner, there are 4 circles, indicating the areas that will be surveyed, measured and marked. The central one is the Plot Center as you will see in a second.
P C is painted on the tree and below it and 3 ft. to the true north, is a yellow stake angled into the ground. This marks the Plot Center, from which each additional subplot, of which there are 3, is located going 3 directions,N, SE and SW, each is 120 ft from the P C. The 4 subplots are dispersed over an acre and total a 6th of an acre in size. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as they say. Assessments are done differently depending on the plot design. In our case, surveys are done every 5 yrs.
Below, is the yellow angled marker next to the GPS, marking our plot center, (PC). John proceeded to measure our PC tree at the line below the letters, which is 4 and a half feet above the ground. The same tree is measured each survey at the same height. Surprisingly this tree had grown nearly 5 inches in 5 years, and that was with 4 of those years being a drought. He was pleased. The fertility of the soil has so much to do with that, as well as proper foresting to allow ideal canopy overhead. That particular maple tree measures 96 ft. tall, straight up, in prime condition and graded the highest they can be graded. I was pleased.
From the Plot Center, is another marker with a blue ribbon attached, 6 ft. to the east. Sy found 3 out of 4 before John even asked him to search. That's my grandson, getting ahead of himself and very proud.
Once the marker is found, a more permanent one was installed, looking like a long, strong spike, one the deer cannot so easily pull out.
Other measurements are taken, such as the height at which this dead tree broke off, being 47 ft. up, bark is analysed, search for insects or their trails, etc, all to determine the cause of the death of this tree. The understory, or ground, is surveyed for decay, vegitation abundance, species, etc. Trees are checked for species, diameter, height, damage the amount of rotten or missing wood and their quality. Trees over a foot tall are counted for regeneration purposes. The forester estimates growth and mortality of the trees within this one acre to add to the surveys done over the rest of the plots in the nation. The next picture is of a mid-aged Hemlock that is being measured for it's height.
All of the data that is collected and calculated, is often congregated with other than the timber inventories, such as whether the same area is suitable for wild life, of which we have plenty, timber availability, whether we are a fire hazard area, area of insect infestation and damage, etc, Of which we are not, thank God. I'm proud to say, we were rated to have prime hardwoods in a prime location with a perfect forest floor and canopy to the sky. Now, if that don't make a girl feel good about her land.
We also came across a few visitors, rather, WE were the visitors. I walked right into this fella, as he pulled his legs in, starred me down, ready to put his defenses up. Geeeepers - Creeeepers, look at those Peeeepers! Got a chill up my spine.

No trees, plants or animals were harmed in any way during this survey. We can continue to use our land as we choose, after all, it is ours to preserve, and the surveyors can only enter our property with our permission. All of their reports are confidential, and our names are only used to contact us. We feel alright about this. We have never felt invaded by the USDA Forest Service and are more than happy to help keep our America greener than ever with the programs they provide. An analysis report will be mailed to us upon request. Of course, we are curious as to all of the findings, most of which were already explained.
So, stand tall, be proud to do your part!
O.K., Now, do not tell me you ate something off the forest floor without checking with me first~~~~silly kid! All Boy, this one, who enjoyed his field trip with Grandma G and Mr. John, the Forester. (No Grandlove was harmed during this field trip, either. He just happens to love Blue Raspberry Push Pop Candy!)
I do hope you enjoyed our morning walk through only one acre of our wonderful woodlands. We are truly blessed. Thanks for stoppin in.



Dar said...

Appologies~~~I would have taken a ga-zillion more pictures but, of course, my batteries decided to take a dive. Nuff said!

texwisgirl said...

i think your grandson is well on his way of being hired by the foresterman as a marker locator! :) thanks for taking us thru the process. glad to hear your woods are in fine shape!

~mel said...

I suppose Syrus wants to be a forester now. Last time we had our septic tank pumped he was here ~ and he wanted to be a "poop scooper". LOL Sooooo... I take it no firewood is cut in that acre of woods?

imac said...

Interesting post my friend.
uck. the blue tongue lergie.

Dar said...

Re: Mel, we do cut in that acre too but ' select cut ' only, like the rest of the woods....was interesting.
Re: TexWisGirl, yes, he already said he'd like to work in the woods but he wants to find dinosaur bones.
Re: Imac, I agree! I made him brush his teeth twice.

Cher' Shots said...

Thank God Sy didn't have 'blue tongue disease!' lol ~ you woods are beautiful. Good experience for Sy-my-guy!
'love & hugs from afar' and give Sy a bear hug for me!

jack69 said...

A very interesting entry. Yeah, it is cool that the acre falls on 'your property'. I cannot believe the height of 95 ft. also the inch a year is great. Funny I should use Sy's picture today also. He is a great guy!
Good entry.
Love ya (our love to Bill hope he is doing good!))

Leontien said...

I think it's great you did this with your grandson!!!

and more pictures would be great but i'm glad you run out of batteries because i really didn't need to see more spiders!!!