Forest Day will fall, as always, on the first Saturday in August. This year the date is August 1st. The theme of this year’s Forest Day will be wildlife and the improvement of wildlife habitat on the Randolph Community Forest.
The Day will begin with a meeting at Town Hall which will start at 9:00 am. The Forest Commission will report on activities carried out on the Forest during the past year. There will also be one or more presentations echoing the wildlife habitat theme, including a discussion of a recent initiative called “Dirt to Trees to Wildlife,” supported by the Forest Commission, which aims to make it easier to manage woodlands for specific types of wildlife.
After the presentations at the Town Hall, at about 10:00 am, the tour will begin. The first stop will be at the Bowman Junction parking lot from where those who wish to do so can take the short hike in to Rollo Fall, the headwaters of the Moose River. This is at the heart of the most recent addition to the Randolph Community Forest; 72 acres of woodlands around the Fall, an acquisition made possible by Roberta Arbree and Bob Potter.
We will also hear a report on a wildlife action plan for the Israel’s River corridor currently in preparation. The plan will cover the corridor within the RCF from the Rollo Fall property along the Israeli’s River to the Farrar Farm. In this area there are a number of old apple trees which make a useful contribution to the improvement of habitats. How to manage these trees to maximize that contribution will be explored.
The next destination of the tour will be the Pond of Safety Road. The RCF has, over the last ten years, been implementing wildlife habitat improvements, financed in part by a WHIP grant from the National Resources Conservation Service. Some of those projects created permanent open spaces within the Forest; some reintroduced softwoods into areas where they once naturally grew. Both were beneficial to the habitats of various species of wildlife. Many of these projects are located along the Pond of Safety Road and the tour will stop at several of them.
Finally, the tour will end at the Pond of Safety where the US Forest Service is in the process of stabilizing the shore of the Pond and creating a new, more walker-friendly pathway down to the Pond from the parking lot. The work will be accomplished by the Randolph Mountain Club’s trail crew.
All are welcome, including children. Bring a lunch and insect repellant. Wear boots or shoes appropriate for light hiking. We look forward to seeing you on August 1st.