Questions and Answers from Webinar Sessions
Week 2 Questions
- Question is for grant resources - aside from NRCS and a few (dwindling) state resources, where can we find money to help implement treatments? this is for wildlife habitat, ecological restoration, water quality, etc.?
NRCS and Calfire are the main sources of funding for resource conservation on private woodlands. You may also check with the local Department of Fish and Game staff to see if there are additional restoration funds available for you. You may also check with local land trusts to see to what extent there are opportunities for conservation easement purchases for your land. Week 4 of the webinar will deal with technical assistance and cost-share opportunities.
- Another product of oak woodlands is carbon sequestration. Management plans could include this keeping in mind that in some cases, their may be economic benefits as well as social benefits.
We will show an example of the economics of carbon sequestration for oak woodlands in week 3. We also will discuss this during our field trips. Oak woodlands do accumulate and store carbon as part of photosynthesis. Organic matter in the soil, also serves as a storage place for carbon. These markets in general, are just developing and not terribly profitable at this time, but will be worth watching in the future. It is also important to understand that biodegradation of dead trees release much carbon into the atmosphere as CO2 and that conversion of trees into wood products has a benefit of storing carbon for the functional life of the wood product.
- Effectiveness of soil protection measures, such as geotextiles. I have very little success stories, especially reducing gully erosion on native surface roads. you can slow the water with waterbreaks or rolling dips, but it's difficult to reverse the process. I have not seen effective treatments in meadows, either (willow, jut matting, etc.).
I have not worked with geotextiles and other engineered approaches, but I agree that these do not always solve the problems. Of course proper installation and maintenance are needed. I suggest contacting the local engineer at the NRCS offices for more information on geotextiles. There may be times when roads just need to be moved (if possible) to other locations to avoid constant erosion problems.
- What about the trampling of streams and destruction of riparian habitat? What about the increased soil erosion in those trampled areas near streams?
Impacts on water quality and vegetation are both important considerations when applying any type of grazing regime, and riparian areas are of particular concern. When considering livestock grazing across broad areas that may include a mix of savannah and riparian corridors, livestock may frequently visit riparian zones for water, shade, comfort or higher quality feed. Frequent visits will cause a disproportionately large impact which is why we try to attract livestock away from riparian zones with water troughs and supplements. In some cases fencing the riparian zone may be the most effective option, but it comes at a high cost and the vegetation within the fenced area should still be managed or several beneficial qualities of the riparian zone will be compromised, such as water quality (nitrogen), type of vegetation and wildlife habitat. The fenced riparian zone can be grazed to manage the vegetation, but this grazing should be applied at a time of year when undesirable impacts will be minimized. High density, short duration grazing is often used for managing fenced riparian zones usually in the late-spring when water flows are low and herbaceous vegetation is almost dry. This strategy applies a large impact, primarily on the herbaceous vegetation, for only a short amount of time which will minimize impacts on soil, desirable vegetation and water quality.
- If pruning can cause insect and disease problems, is there a patch material recommended?
In general, tree paints has not proven effective in preventing decay fungi from infecting trees. Trees do compartmentalize themselves and restrict decay to areas of the same age as the pruned branches within the trunk. The most effect treatment to minimize these impacts is proper pruning. The UC ANR publication, :Oaks in the Urban Landscape” (see: http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/Items/3518.aspx) is a good resource.
- What are the effects of pruning oaks - insects, pathogens, growth, undergrowth (and therefore increased risk of fire damage to cambium), etc.? (May have meant thinning oaks?)
We answered this on the air, but in closer reading and discussion with our panel, we think that this question was addressing thinning of oaks. We will deal with thinning in some detail in week 3 of the webinar. In general, the thinning would decrease overall fuel levels, and especially ladder fuels, and decrease the fire risk of large crown fires. There would be an increase in grass/forage production. However, these fuels tend to be quite flashy, and the temperatures reaching the cambium are not generally lethal. When thinning sprout clusters, there may be issues with decay organisms entering the cut stump of one tree and moving into the trunk of the adjacent tree.
- Additional Information: On federal lands an AUM is a cow and calf. What percent more forage is used by a calf?
From Morgan: I have more information on this question. Marc Horney at Cal Poly sent me a note reminding me of the debate over the definition of an animal unit (AU). According to Marc, the Society for Range Management defined an AU as a cow-calf pair based on an article by J.F. Vallentine published in the Journal of Range Management in 1965. Federal agencies managing public lands then adopted SRM’s definition. However, the Grazing Management text book written by the same J.F. Vallentine (2001), defines one AU as one 1000 lb. cow. Apparently there is not a standardized way to equate animal units to an animal body. The only thing consistent through all of this is that one AU is equal to 26 lbs. of dry matter intake per day. Marc Horney provided also sent useful website link (http://www.thedairysite.com/articles/981/understanding-the-animal-unit-month-aum) that provides a good explanation of the animal unit and deviations that occur due to changes in animal frame size.
Week 1 Questions
- Where can we locate the taped webinar
Has been e-mailed to all registered participants. Contact Rick Standiford (email@example.com) if you haven’t received this.
- What is the effect of soil salinity on oak growth
Most oaks are not tolerant of saline soils. Growth would be compromised on saline sites.
- What is the growth rate of the white oak and can it be planted among blue oaks?
White oak is a broad term for a number of oak species (blue oak, Oregon white oak, valley oak). Growth rate will be dependent on the soil depth, overall rainfall, and aspect. In general, valley oaks will outgrown blue oaks on deep, well-drained sites. Oregon white oaks will generally outgrow blue oaks on higher rainfall, moister sites. Blue oak will out-perform other white oaks on drier, shallower soils.
- Will we go over maximum utilization of the land for grazing while maintaining or improving biodiversity with healthy oak stands.
We will discuss this in more detail this week, and in the field trip. In general, thinning to 25-40% canopy cover is a nice trad-off between biodiversity and forage production for grazing. Maintaining healthy riparian zones, and important habitat structures such as snags, woody debris, and acorn-producing trees, will also help ensure biodiversity in managed grazing areas.
- How can one determine the "original" composition of a parcel that has recently been acquired?
You could look for the presence of stumps. You can also work with NRCS to look at historical aerial photographs to see where brush clearing, thinning, fires, or regrowth has occurred.
- Acorn Recipe Sources
http://www.californiaoaks.org/ has some free oak publications (including acrorn recipes - http://www.californiaoaks.org/ExtAssets/acorns_and_eatem.pdf)
- How do evapotranspiraton rates of oak woodlands compare to those of conifer forests
Most of the species we have been talking about are the rangeland oaks, which occur on much hotter and drier sites than conifer forests. Generally, evapotranspiration would be lower on the oaks.
- Would you say it may behove this landowner to contact and RPF or CRM?
Week 4 of the seminar series will discuss working with licensed resource professionals. Many of the cost-share programs from USDA or Calfire require the development of a management plan, signed by an RPF.
- Do oaks self pollinate? Do they wind pollinate?
Oak trees typically do not self-pollinate. They are wind pollinated.
- Are you going to cover assessment of regeneration status in more detail in the coming sessions?
This will be covered in week 3 and the field trips. Pages 98-102 provides a good overview of a methodology we will cover.
- Response to question about Native American uses of oak woodlands
There is a Native American Contact list for each county on the CAL FIRE website