ST. LAWRENCE PARKS COMMISSION FOREST MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT NOW AVAILABLE
Kingston, Ontario – The St. Lawrence Parks Commission has responded to local questions and concerns about a recently implemented forest management plan at Ivy Lea Campground with the release of a 3rd party Master Arborist review and assessment of the original plan.
The SLPC held a public information open house in early February to gather community input and to respond to questions and concerns about the Forest management project at Ivy Lea Campground. An independent Master Arborist, Logan Tree Experts of Peterborough, Ontario was hired to conduct an assessment of felled trees at Ivy Lea Campground and to further assess trees marked, at this location, for reassessment in the broader forest management report which was completed by the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNCA) in 2014.
Logan Tree Experts completed the assessment on February 17. The findings are summarized as follows:
- Ivy Lea assessed that for the number of fallen trees, two did not require removal.
- 232 trees with pink markings identified from the original SNCA report were reassessed.
- An additional 11 trees not included in the original report were identified as now in need of attention.
- Of a total of 243 trees assessed, 75 have been identified for removal. Half were identified as high risk, the remaining as moderate risk.
- A cross reference of the Logan Tree Experts report for Ivy Lea Campground with the 2014 SNCA Forest Management report essentially concurs with the original assessment. There were some instances where trees originally identified as moderate to low risk with a corrective action to monitor in the SNCA report, are now considered to be moderate to high risk with increased remedial actions recommended in the Logan Tree Experts report.
- The identified trees are in areas that potentially pose a threat to public safety.
Based on the findings of the Logan report, SLPC is confident to remobilize Eco Tree Care on site at Ivy lea Campground to complete the forest management project. Approximately 35 trees will be removed along with the completion of remedial work including pruning of dead and weak wood and poor tree structure (e.g. dual stems). Work will resume at the park the week of March 6, 2017. A tree planting program will be initiated at Ivy Lea Campground in the spring to begin to replenish the tree canopy. Once the work at Ivy Lea Campground is complete, the SLPC will move into its eastern campgrounds and perform necessary tree remediation required to ensure public safety prior to opening campgrounds to visitors on May 12, 2017.
The SLPC is making public both the original 2014 South Nation Conservation Authority Forest Management report and the recently completed Logan Tree Experts report. Both documents are available at www.stlawrenceparks.com under the “Ivy Lea Tree Removal Update” tab.
Public safety is fundamental to SLPC as is the stewardship obligation of its lands and surrounding environment. With an aging tree canopy in its public areas, the SLPC was prompted to complete a comprehensive assessment of the tree canopy across its park assets. Many of the trees species were planted over 60 years ago during the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. They were fast growing trees e.g. poplar, birch, silver maples and coniferous soft woods and a large number of these trees have reached their life expectancy and are beginning to show signs of decline and die.
The SLPC is proactive in protecting its forests:
- Firewood from external sources is not permitted in the campgrounds to prevent the spread of disease.
- SLPC forestry staff conduct seasonal inspections, pruning and tree removal as deemed necessary and for the health and safety of visitors to the park areas.
It will be an ongoing balance to ensure a safe environment for staff and visitors, but SLPC remains committed to preserving the environment in a responsible manner.