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56-acre selective logging operation scheduled in TBM for 2022

The tree harvest will take place in the Pretty River forest along 4th line and The Blue Mountains Townline
Screenshot 2021-10-13 11.49.40 AM
Grey County is harvesting trees from a 56 acre parcel (highlighted in yellow) of its property in Pretty River forest. | Screen Capture

A selective logging operation is slated to take place in the Town of The Blue Mountains (TBM) in 2022, within the Pretty River forest along 4th line and The Blue Mountains town line. 

The logging will take place on a 56-acre section of the forest, in the northeast corner of a 297-acre parcel owned by Grey County. 

At a council meeting last week, Grey County informed TBM that the property will be closed to the public during the logging operation. Signs and barriers will be posted as necessary.

The exact logging dates were not shared with council.

“The nature of harvesting (weather, site conditions, etc.) does not allow a contractor to know when they will commence the harvest until much closer to the start date," stated the report from the county.  "As a result, the county often only has a few days notification and cannot notify neighbouring landowners via regular mail.”

Instead, Grey County encourages members of the public to email to be placed on its email notification list for the property.

Lee Thurston, Forest Manager with Grey County, said that the county selectively harvests trees to promote healthy forests. 

“Forests stagnate if left to their own and eventually begin to lose both biodiversity and harvestable volumes,” he said. 

“By opening the canopy, seedlings are allowed to establish and become saplings which will eventually become the canopy in time. Various species of shade-intolerant species will be forced out of the composition of the forest and only shade-tolerant species will survive if left on their own.”

The county is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to manage its forests.

“Good forestry practices are followed for the harvesting, taking into account natural heritage values, wildlife and sensitive natural areas,” he said. “Tree marking is provided by certified tree markers and they follow the prescription provided by [me].”

Thurston said that the harvest will help with biodiversity in the forest.

“The Pretty River tract has a prescription that will promote old-growth characteristics while at the same time maintaining biodiversity within species,” he said. “In fact, there are a large number of Butternuts (endangered species) and opening up the canopy will allow them to potentially regenerate provided they produce viable nuts.”

Grey County owns approximately 8,400 acres of land spread across 45 properties. It harvests trees from roughly 260 acres of these lands annually. 

The Pretty River forest is divided into three parcels, which are logged in five-year intervals. 

Grey County will earn $18,300 in revenue for the logging operation in 2022.

“These harvests help to supply local mills with timber and provide revenues for the county,” Thurston said.

About the Author: Greg McGrath-Goudie, LJI Reporter

Greg McGrath-Goudie covers The Blue Mountains and Gray Highlands as part of the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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