Forest Health Challenges
Forest health reflects how the different parts of an ecosystem are interrelated. Changes can cause impacts that affect the overall balance of the ecosystem. In recent years, forest and watershed managers have been meeting the challenges of increasing threats to forest health.
Exotic invasive insects called the red pine scale and adelgid were found attacking red pine trees on the property starting in 1990. These insects would have killed most of the trees. Rather than letting these trees die and become hazards, most of the red pines have since been harvested with the goal of establishing other tree species on these sites.
Overabundant white-tailed deer are inhibiting the regeneration of native hardwood tree seedlings that are necessary for the forest to sustain itself. A deer management program including controlled hunting is intended to reduce these impacts.
Non-native invasive plants that grow aggressively, spread rapidly, and crowd out native plants and wildflowers pose another threat to forest regeneration. A variety of strategies are being used in an effort to control these unwanted plants.
Forest fragmentation results from land development and reduces the ecosystem's natural capacity to filter and purify water. Conservation programs and partnership agreements with private landowners are designed to ensure that critical forests and wetlands remain in their natural state.