Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Kaniksu Land Trust Salvaging Blowdown Timber at Pine Street Woods

A nasty mid-March windstorm in the Sandpoint, ID area resulted in blowdown trees across portions of the Kaniksu Land Trust Pine Street Woods property. The heavily forested area, owned by KLT and managed for conservation, recreation and education, is a popular destination for area hikers, cross country skiers, mountain bikers and others, and also for an array of outdoor and nature education programs. The windstorm left blowdown trees across trails, and KLT immediately worked to clear the trails, salvage the timber, and provide educational materials to the community about the ongoing forest management activities.

From KLT: The most severe damage at Pine Street Woods occurred in two locations, both if which are located on the eastern ridge of the property on or near the 20-acre Manning Buffer. Standing atop the Manning Buffer ridge looking north, the storm damage aligns perfectly between GN Road, Upland Drive and Pine Street Woods. The wind tunnel effect of the Purcell Trench appears to have caused the wind to “wrap” around the corner of Greenhorn Mountain (Mickinnick Trail) and funnel the strongest gusts along a narrow swath. This caused a micro-burst of damage and left uprooted trees that are all aligned in a generally southern direction.

In order to reopen the trails along the Manning Buffer and to avoid attracting bark beetles that may spread disease to otherwise healthy timber, KLT has engaged a conscientious small-scale logger with a forestry background to salvage the downed timber. Log skidding will be done using either a forwarding trailer pulled by a farm tractor or a small rubber-tired skidder. Although precautions will be taken, some degree of ground disturbance is unavoidable as these large trees will require a certain amount of maneuvering to either load onto the trailer or skid across the ground. The small equipment used will finesse in lieu of sheer horsepower to extract the logs.

The storm damaged areas of Pine Street Woods and the Manning Buffer consist of well-formed, well-spaced, mature trees, partially as a result of past forestry practices. KLT intends to maintain conscientious and sustainable forest management practices that continue to support this healthy working forest for the enjoyment and edification of our community.