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  1. Interesting discussion for Environmental Science merit badge, etc. IMHO, planting less susceptible species in a stressed ecosystem will be preferred over replanting current threatened species. Montana Council, Boy Scouts of America, is underway with a woodland transformation project on Melita Island after devastating stress on trees due to root rot and dwarf mistletoe, in combination with defoliation by Tussock moth and mortality by bark beetle. The biggest issue is safety to the more than 1,000 youth and staff who make the island their home throughout the summer. Recent winds have toppled large trees due to the weak and diseased root systems. Safety to the youth served continues to be Montana Council’s top concern. Rehabilitating the island to a healthy and natural ecosystem is the goal while eliminating the potential spread of issues to neighboring properties....Primary tree species on the island are Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir with a minimal, scattered population of Western Juniper and various hardwoods. The Douglas fir Tussock moth infestation, now in its third year, has resulted in severe defoliation of the stressed trees with significant mortality from bark beetles. Issues besides the mortality include excessive lean, shallow roots with minimal to no taproot and root rot, creating a hazardous environment. Douglas fir will be the majority of the trees removed. Old-growth Ponderosa pine, a signature tree for the island, will be conserved. An aggressive replanting process begins immediately and includes an impressive reforestation of mostly deciduous trees and sufficient shrubs, including chokecherry. Tree removal started the last week of October. The burning of slash piles is expected to begin in early November with visual smoke. Please be advised that smoke from Melita Island is planned with the controlled burn. Scouting programs at Melita Island are heavily water-based with courses including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, boating, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, shooting sports, nature, camping, first aid and more. .... Sources: https://www.montanabsa.org/melita-island-woodland-rehabilitation-project/ http://www.valleyjournal.net/Article/22352/Boy-Scouts-rehabilitate-Melita-Island-woodland
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