Romine Pine Forest Restoration Project in Carter County, Missouri

Project #: 100141  –   Updated: January 12, 2012

Project Summary

Through partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program, a native pine/oak complex (108 acres) in Carter County, Missouri, is being restored for Gary Romine, a private landowner. The previous owner of the property high graded and overharvested the forest resulting in the need to restore the pine forest component of the pine/oak complex. This project will benefit pine forest-dependent bird species by improving habitat and increasing connectivity to surrounding forests.
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Location (by county):
Carter County (MO)

Watersheds:
Current

Congressional Districts:
MO District 08

Bird Conservation Regions:
Central Hardwoods

USFWS Regions:
Midwest Region

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Romine Pine Forest Restoration Project in Carter County, Missouri No

Full Project Description

Through partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program, a native pine/oak complex (108 acres) in Carter County, Missouri, is being restored for Gary Romine, a private landowner. The previous owner of the property high graded and overharvested the forest resulting in the need to restore the pine forest component of the pine/oak complex. This project will benefit pine forest-dependent bird species by improving habitat and increasing connectivity to surrounding forests.

Objectives:

1. Restore 46 acres of native pine forest at the project site to benefit migratory and resident birds and wildlife dependent on pine forests. Plant 23 acres of shortleaf pine seedlings and trees along ridge tops on the site by spring 2011. Plant shortleaf pine seedlings and trees on remaining 23 acres of ridge tops by spring 2012.
2. Restore 62 acres of oak woodland at the project site to benefit migratory and resident birds and wildlife. Perform a regeneration clearcut on 62 acres of trees remaining from previous high grade harvest along hillsides by spring 2012, benefiting early succession bird species.
3. Work in cooperation with MDC and USFWS to develop an adaptive forest management plan for the project site to benefit pine forest-dependent and early succession bird species and wildlife. Develop an adaptive forest management plan for the entire 108 acre pine/oak complex by fall 2011, to be implemented over the next twenty years.

This pine restoration project is located in Carter County (Section 6, Township 26 North, Range 2 East), within the Current River Oak-Pine Woodland/Forest Hills landtype association of the Current River Hills subsection in Missouri. The property is situated within the Current River Hills Conservation Opportunity Areas (COA), identified in Missouri's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, and the Current/Jack's Fork Watershed Improtant Bird Area (IBA) designated by Audubon Missouri (National Audubon Society 2010). The region is characterized by hilly lands with steep slopes and little flat land which was historically dominated by pine forest, oak-pine woodlands, and oak woodlands, and interspersed with fens and glades in forest openings (Nigh and Schroeder 2001).

Today, the land is still mostly timbered, although historic pine woodlands and forests are rare. Forest composition has shifted to second-growth oak and oak-pine timber in response to the timber exploitation of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and subsequent fire suppression. The project site ws previously owned by a timber company that high graded and overharvested the forest, leaving behind a denuded landscape highly susceptible to erosion. this is an optimal location to restore rare pine forest and increase forest habitat continuity as this property is adjacent to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and in close proximity to the Mark Twain National Forest.

Historically, this property would have been a mosaic of pine woodland/forest on the hilltops, oak/oak-pine woodland on hillsides, and bottomland forest within the riparian corridor, with glades found in forest openings (Nigh and Schroeder 2002). The current state of the forest provides an opportunity to restore oak woodlands and rare pine forest back to the landscape. When considered on a landscape scale that includes the Ozark Scenic National Riverways and Mark Twain National Forest, this project will provide a large block of continiuous forest that will benefit nesting forest interior birds.

The project calls for 46 acres to be restored to shortleaf pine; the first 23 acres to be planted by spring of 2011 through a PFW habitat development agreement with USFWS. The pines will be planted using the root production method (RPM) trees and bare-root seedlings with the help of Southeast Missouri State University's (SEMO) student chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) and other volunteers. Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) grant funds will help to plant the remaining 23 acres of pine forest.

In order to stimulate natural regeneration of oaks, additional forest stand improvement activities will be applied to approximately 62 acres along the hillsides which include clearcutting damaged and unacceptable growing stock. This practice will prevent shade-intolerant tree species from becoming dominant, stimulate stump sprouting, and the shrub/seedling seral stage will provide habitat for early succession birds.

Actions

Project Actions
Plant native trees and/or shrubs, herbs, forbs, grasses Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
(Federal Government)

Primary Contact

Gary Romine  (Private Landowner)
Self
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Project Photos

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