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