Friday, December 13, 2013

Shiitake Inoculation

This week the WWC Forestry Crew inoculated a new batch of mushroom logs. 120 logs were inoculated with shiitake spawn and another 5 logs were plugged with chicken-of-the-woods.
Drilled log ready for inoculation and shiitake spawn
The first step in inoculation is to drill holes 5" apart in a diamond pattern around the log. These holes are filled with mushroom spawn, a sawdust medium that is colonized with the mycelium of the fungus.
Charles Williamson and Dylan Bahoosh plugging logs
A palm inoculator, once filled with mushroom spawn, injects the spawn into the log. The hole is then sealed over with cheese wax.
The new logs bedded down for the year
The inoculated logs were taken to the shiitake yard and bedded down underneath their future ricks. After resting for a year the mycelium will have fully colonized the log and they can be forced to fruit.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

WWC Receives Major Gift for College Forest Management and Education

Warren Wilson College has received a $400,000 gift for the purpose of establishing the Irene Pennington Broyles and Glenn Boone Broyles Fellowship, in order to help preserve and manage the Warren Wilson College Forest in perpetuity.

Irene Broyles, a Somerset, Ky., resident who had survived her husband, Glenn, made the gift before her passing on Nov. 14. She served as librarian at Somerset High School for 32 years, and the couple owned and operated a tree farm in Kentucky for many years. Glenn’s brother, Boyd, and Boyd’s wife, Edith, were partners too in the farm that received numerous environmental awards. Irene Broyles was a 1939 graduate of Dorland-Bell School in Hot Springs, N.C., which merged with the Asheville Farm School in 1942 to form what eventually became the four-year Warren Wilson College in 1967.

The Broyles Fellowship will recognize and support the College Forest director – currently Sustainable Forestry Professor David Ellum, Ph.D. – in using innovative methods of teaching students in forestry, and in conducting research in sustainable forestry, forest management, forest science and forest policy. It also will assist the director’s supervision of Warren Wilson College students concentrating their studies in sustainable forestry and academic fields related to preservation of the College Forest.

“The college is thrilled to receive this generous gift from Irene Broyles establishing the Broyles Fellowship,” Warren Wilson College President Steven L. Solnick said. “The fellowship will help ensure the preservation of the College Forest, and greatly benefit not only our current students, but also those for generations to come.”

Warren Wilson’s 1,130-acre campus includes 625 acres of managed forest. The college has a strong academic program in sustainable forestry within its Environmental Studies Department, as well as a forestry work crew, one of more than 100 student work crews at Warren Wilson.

“Education is the No. 1 natural resource produced by the College Forest,” David Ellum said. “This gift will not only help us to use the best science to protect the ecological integrity of the forest; it also will provide incredible opportunities for our Triad education of academics, work and service that involves students in all aspects of the forest’s stewardship.
“Mrs. Broyles’ generosity will leave a positive and longstanding mark on our students and our forest.”

Irene Broyles had further connections to Warren Wilson College and its forerunners. Two of her four brothers were Asheville Farm School alumni; one sister was a Dorland-Bell alumna, the other attended the school; and a grandniece currently attends Warren Wilson.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Black Cohosh Medicinal Tincture

The WWC Forestry Crew is in the process of making their second FDA approved medicinal tincture made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices. This year the chosen understory medicinal was black cohosh .
Hannah Billian with a black cohosh plant
Students harvest black cohosh rhizomes from the College Forest. The terminal bud was divided from the rhizome and replanted in the forest to ensure the plants will continue to thrive in the forest understory.
Joe Coleman dividing a black cohosh rhizome
Once the material was meticulously cleaned by the crew it was dried in an oven.
Hannah Billian leads the crew is cleaning the rhizomes
Next the dried material was brought to Blue Ridge Food Ventures, where the dried rhizomes were chopped and placed in jars along with distilled water and organic alcohol to tincture. The next step is to bottle the tincture.
Joe Coleman  and Hannah Billian prepare the tincture

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rolleo 2013

The Team
 On November 16 the Warren Wilson College Timbersports Team traveled to NC State to compete in the 2013 Rolleo Invitational.
Caleb competes in the Pole Fell
The team came in third place, only one point behind NC State and seven points behind winner Haywood Community College. The team was 4 points ahead of Virginia Tech and 21 points ahead of NC State Alumni.
Morgan Competes in Underhand Chop
Morgan Martin once again carried the team with a First Place finish in Female Axe Throw, Female Bow Saw, Jill and Jill Crosscut, and Female Underhand Chop. Morgan shared a First Place in Jack and Jill Crosscut with Caleb Hawkins, who also got a First Place in Stock Saw.
Sam Webber and Kim Conrads in Log Roll
The team received Second Place in Wood ID.
Kim Conrads in Bow Saw
The team received Third Place in Wildlife ID, Pole Fell, and Men's Underhand Chop.
Christopher in Axe Throw
The team received Fourth Place in Pole Classification, Male Axe Throw, Team Log Roll, and Male Crosscut.
Jameson Martinez and Caleb Hawkins in Jack and Jack Crosscut
The team came in Fifth Place in Dendrology and Male Bow Saw.
Rhys Brydon-Williams in Male Underhand Chop

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Work Crews Join Forces

The students of the Black Locust Crew of the Evergreen Charter Community School toured the lumberyard operations of the Warren Wilson Forestry Crew this past week. They delivered some black locust logs to the crew, who in turn milled the logs into dimensional lumber and delivered it to the school. The Black Locust Crew will be building a firewood shed with the lumber to dry wood for future campouts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Forestry Crew on Max Patch

On November 9 four Warren Wilson Forestry Crew students worked with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy removing trees on Max Patch. This work was done to open up the views along the Appalachian Trail and to recreate the conditions of the bald.
Thanks to Rhys Brydon-Williams for organizing the service trip, and for Liam Bonk, Peter Arnold, and Dylan Bahoosh for giving their hard work to the project.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Firewood Day 2013

On November 2 the Forestry Crew held their annual Firewood Day. All full-time staff and faculty who reply by the deadline are eligible to receive a portion of hardwood firewood. The crew distributed firewood to a record number of more than 70 recipients. As usual, it was also a great time for the crew to spend time together with other members of the Warren Wilson community.

Monday, October 7, 2013

WWC Timbersports Third Place in Palmer Invitational

The Warren Wilson College Timbersports Team came in third at the 18th Annual Palmer Invitational. The event is usually at the Cradle of Forestry, but due to the government shutdown this year's meet took place at Haywood Community College. The team placements were as follows:
1 - Haywood CC
2- Penn State MA
3 - Warren Wilson College
4 - NC State
5 - Dabney Lancaster CC
6 - Montgomery CC
Hannah Billian and Morgan Martin in the Water Boil
The team was first place in Female Underhand Speed Chop, Water Boil, and Jack and Jill Crosscut.
Kim Conrads and Morgan Martin prepare for Jill and Jill Crosscut
The team took second place in Orienteering, Female Axe Throw, Female Bolt Split, and Jill and Jill Crosscut.
Caleb Hawkins competes in Male Stock Saw

The team finished third place in Dendrology, Female Pole Climb, and Male Stock Saw
Hannah Billian, Rhys Brydon-Williams, Frank Secret, and Morgan Martin in Quiz Bowl
A fourth place finish was taken by the team in Quiz Bowl, Male Axe Throw, Standing Block, and Single Buck.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WWC Timbersports at Mountain Heritage Day

The Team Celebrates With Their Trophies

The Warren Wilson College Timbersports Team competed in chainsaw and crosscut events at Western Carolina University's Mountain Heritage Day last Saturday.

Frank Secret and Caleb Hawkins Compete in Crosscut
The team had a very impressive showing and earned a number of trophies and ribbons.

Kim Conrads Competes in Stock Saw
Additionally, Coach Shawn Swartz and team members Peter Simmons and Frank Secret had the honor and privilege of playing stickball with some members of the Cherokee Nation, and team member Rhys Brydon-Williams earned third place in the beard and mustache contest. 

Rhys Brydon-Williams With the Other Beard Contestants

Monday, September 9, 2013

WWC Timbersports Second Place at North Carolina Mountain State Fair Lumberjack Competition

The Warren Wilson College Timbersports Team lost to Haywood Community College at the 2013 North Carolina Mountain State Fair Lumberjack Competition 112-104. It was a very close meet that had each team alternating leads until the last couple of heats, at which time Haywood pulled ahead for good.
The Teams
It was a fun meet and a good time was had by everyone from both teams. The day featured a rematch of Caleb Hawkins and Ben Knicely from the Stihl Regional Qualifier and pitted the coaching wits of Haywood alum and Warren Wilson Forest Manager Shawn Swartz against Warren Wilson alum and Haywood Instructor Kesi Stoneking.
Morgan Martin and Hannah Billian Win the Waterboil
The WWC Timbersports Team took first place in Female Stock Saw, Female Underhand Chop, Water Boil, Jack and Jill Crosscut, Jill and Jill Crosscut, and Cookie Cut. The team finished second place in Male Stock Saw, Pulp Toss, Double Buck Crosscut, Log Roll, Male Underhand Chop, Single Buck Crosscut, and Standing Block. They also received a third place finish in Double Buck Crosscut and Bolt Split, and fourth place in Water Boil, Male Underhand, and Bolt Split.
Morgan Martin Wins Female Underhand Chop

Thursday, August 15, 2013

White-Nose Syndrome

For the third year in a row the Forestry Crew has performed service with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to aid in their efforts to understand White-Nose Syndrome. This is an introduced fungal disease that has decimated bat populations in the eastern part of the United States over the last several years.
Bat with White-Nose Syndrome
 The Forestry Crew drives on a route through the Craggy Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway recording bat calls twice each summer. Each species of bat has a specific call signature. By recording the calls wildlife biologists can know how many bats of each species are located along the route. By recording calls before White-Nose Syndrome came to the North Carolina mountains, a baseline was established. As the disease affects populations along the route recordings of these calls allow an understanding for which species are being affected, and to what extent.
The Anabat, the device used to record bat calls

Call signatures of bats. Each J-shaped line is a call.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caleb Hawkins places sixth in Timbersports Collegiate National Championship!

After winning the Regional Stihl Mid-Atlantic Qualifier Timbersports collegiate competition in April, Forestry Crew member Caleb Hawkins advanced to the U.S. Championships June 9 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and won sixth place.

We are delighted that we had the 6th best collegiate lumberjack in the nation in our program’s inaugural year. It has truly been a Cinderella season. We have learned much about the equipment necessary to be successful and have been gathering invaluable training tips so that we can hit it hard when we resume in the fall. Thanks to all of you who made the drive to cheer for Caleb and for the support of the WWC Timbersports Team.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NC Summer Society of American Foresters Meeting Held at WWC

This summer Warren Wilson College hosted the Summer Meeting of the North Carolina Division of the Society of American Foresters.The meeting focused on the threats to the integrity of Appalachian forest ecosystems and strategies available to managers to maintain or restore ecosystem function.
Presenters covered topics ranging from Appalachian forest history, exotic invasive species such as thousand cankers disease, hemlock wooly adelgid and chestnut blight, the restoration of degraded hardwood stands, and elk reintroduction. The meeting was attended by professional foresters from state and federal agencies, private industry, consultants, academics, and students.
Forest Manager Shawn Swartz led a tour of the College Forest. Attendees witnessed a pair of group selections, the site of a prescribed burn, the silviculture measurements stand, and the woodlot, where they were treated to a horse logging demonstration by the horse crew.
Forest Manager Shawn Swartz shows the silviculture measurements stand
Saturday evening the attendees were treated to a hog roast. Forestry Crew members Liam Bonk and Joe Coleman, assisted by members of the Farm Crew, slaughtered and cooked a pair of hogs from the College Farm. During dinner WWC alum Rayna Gellert and WWC faculty Jeff Keith played old time music while Holly Baumgartner, wife of Forest Manager Shawn Swartz, added some clogging.

The meeting was a very successful one and a good time was had by all.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mill Shed Rennovation

Last semester the Forestry Crew received a new sawmill in order to more safely and efficiently utilize the byproducts of the forest management occurring on the College Forest. Unfortunately, the new sawmill would not fit under the existing mill shed. The shed roof needed to be dismantled in order to be replaced by a gable roof. The crew took down the existing timber frame on one side, milled new posts, and did the timber frame joinery needed to re-erect the frame.
Peter Simmons cutting the mortises for the knee braces
Once the timber frame was erected, the Rentals and Renovations crew under the leadership of Paul Bobbitt collaborated with the Forestry Crew to frame the roof and install the panels.
Members of the Rentals and Renovations crew work with the Forestry Crew to install the new roof
Thanks to the help received from the Rentals and Rennovations crew the sawmill has a new home! We couldn't have done it without them.
Forest Manager Shawn Swartz brings the Woodmizer to its new home

Friday, July 12, 2013

Benthic Invertebrate Stream Monitoring

Each fall and spring the Forestry Crew puts on their waders and gets in the Swannanoa River where it flows through the Warren Wilson Forest to monitor the health of the river. The crew works in collaboration with the Stream Monitoring Information Exchange, an organization that indirectly measures water quality by capturing, identifying, and counting benthic invertebrates. If the right number of these invertebrates are in the river, coupled with the presence of some indicator species, then the water quality is good and the river is healthy.
Dragonfly larva from the Swannanoa River
Forestry Crew member Morgan Kaelin spends some time with the dragonfly larva while Charles Williamson counts bugs

Monday, July 1, 2013

Forestry Crew Members Receive Recognition

This year two of our graduating seniors received recognition for their work on the Forestry Crew.

Julie Larsen won a Work Award for her role as a leader on the crew. Julie has been an indispensable member of the Forestry Crew, a Captain of the Timbersports Team, Chair of the Society of American Foresters Student Chapter, led the crew on multiple service projects, and did the majority of the work in creating this blog.
Julie Larsen with her Work Award
Additionally,  Forestry Crew member Nick Biemiller won a Service Award for his leadership on a project the Forestry Crew took part in on Little Hump Mountain in the Highlands of Roan. This project was in collaboration with The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and helped establish habitat for the Golden-Winged Warbler.
Forest Manager Shawn Swartz, Nick Biemiller, and Forest Director Dave Ellum at the Service Awards Ceremony

Monday, June 24, 2013

Warren Wilson College Forest Database Project

Forestry Crew member Will Stroud spent the spring semester completing an invaluable database project for the College Forest. Will read through the entirety of the paper and digital records of management activities on the College Forest and summarized the information in an Excel spreadsheet.

This information was then imported into a geospacially referenced attribute table in ArcGIS.

This attribute table can now be queried to determine which stands on the College Forest received certain types of management activities over the years, or the total management activities that have occurred in individual stands over the years. This information can then be used to create a map such as the following:

Thanks to the good work of Will Stroud, the management of the Warren Wilson College Forest will be much better informed by the past.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Forestry Crew Assists the Golden-Winged Warbler

As part of the Forestry Crew's commitment to the Triad of Warren Wilson College, it participates in service projects with various local agencies. One such project has been with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, working to create habitat for the Golden-Winged Warbler by clearing areas on Little Hump Mountain in the Highlands of Roan. Chris Coxen, the Field Ecologist for the Conservancy, has spotted two males singing in the areas where the Forestry Crew has worked over the previous two years. We are very excited to see our work pay dividends in such a short time period!

                                                                                           Chris Coxen

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jones Mountain Crown Thinning and Log Pulling

 The Forestry Crew carried out a crown thinning in early 2013 in a small pine plantation on Jones Mountain. This thinning was designed to create gaps (shown below) into which dominant white pine trees left in the stand could expand and grow, thereby becoming more valuable timber trees (as well as being larger and more aesthetically pleasing). Crew members cut the trees as part of a chainsaw training earlier in the year, and have been pulling saw logs out of the stand using a tractor and winch system. Once all the saw logs are out, the Horse Crew will help drag the logs to Warren Wilson Road, where Landscaping Crew will help transport them to the mill.

The stand will also serve as an educational tool for silviculture classes, and will be shown as a working model of the effects of a crown thinning.

 Hannah Billian, suited up and ready to cut the last of the trees

The crew chokes a log that is about to be pulled to the edge of the stand

 Crew member Frank prepares to operate the tractor and winch

The logging crew with the tractor and winch