Hitch Lead: Erica Madden
Members: Owen Donohoe, Sarah Stawasz, Shannon Monatano
Departure from our comfortable beds at Moyer began at 0700 hours and we were off to the Salmon-Challis national forest to evaluate the quality of the trees. There have been massive casualties in the forest due to the endemic bark beetle and spruce budworm. Our job was to assess the presence of these critters through evidence left in the trees such as small boring holes and lack of needles on the tips of branches.
Other assessment included navigating to pre-specified areas, or, plots with a map and compass. At the site an averaged slope was measured using a clinometer then a radius was determined from the slope measurement. Trees in the determined plot were counted, identified, measured, and categorized according to severity of damage.
These measurements will help the crews with the forest service better maintain the forest and mitigate forest fires and their effects in the area!