FORT MOUNTAIN COMPANIES OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES TO HELP IN CREATING HABITATS FOR WILDLIFE ON YOUR PROPERTY.
Ø Early Successional Development – By using our Denis forestry mower to grind vegetation we are able to create an Early Successional Habitat. This is the first stage of succession for a healthy forest. It benefits a wide variety of wildlife for cover, nesting & breeding.
What is Early Successional Habitat?
It is a habitat with vigorously growing grasses, shrubs and young trees. It develops in disturbed areas of your forest, and sometimes in abandoned farmland. “Disturbance” is the key; it can be natural such as insect damage, forest fire, windthrow or natural mortality. To expedite the process to meet specific goals for habitat management, it may be desired to create disturbance.
This is where Fort Mountain Companies can help. Through careful planning we can incorporate “disturbance” into your timber harvest or forestry mowing project.
So what makes early succession so important for hundreds of wildlife species (such as grouse, deer, turkeys, pheasants and rabbits) is the structure. New Hampshire has over 500 different wildlife species. Early successional habitats often have an open understory with scattered plants that create an umbrella-like canopy. The widely spaced stems allow easy mobility, while the tops of the plants interlace to provide shade and overhead concealment. As trees die or fall over, they continually create openings that stimulate understory vegetation beneficial growth. This structure facilitates easy movement because there is no heavy accumulation of thatch to inhibit travel or hide food.
Ø Young Forests – another name for Early Successional Habitat, create diversity in the forest for various types of wildlife. Young Forests (ideally 10% of a forested property is young forest or early succession habitat) next to Mature Stands make habitats for all species and provide recreation for us as well. By making Soft Edges – irregular shaped openings – near wetlands, the area has a gradual transition from grasses to herbaceous cover to seedling sapling trees to pole size. It also provides wildlife trails for movement.
Watch this fascinating video on the reasoning behind young forests. https://youtu.be/q_73jszOw_E
Ø Mast Crop Production - Professional Consultation with our Forester is available for increasing your hard & soft mast production; important food for wildlife. Hard mast crop refers to trees bearing nuts like acorns and beechnuts. This is done by locating the best nut producing trees and giving them space to grow thereby providing a diversity of high producing trees. Soft mast crop refers to fleshy fruit varies like apple & black cherry trees or bushes with berries. Proper thinning of the forest will create healthy trees which bear more fruit. Having a professional Forester manage this for you, will pay for itself and bring your mast crop to its maximum potential.
Fort Mountain Companies worked on numerous projects for Landowners whose goals were to create a forest with an increased acorn production for ideal wildlife habitat.
Others wanted food plots developed so as to attract wildlife.
This opening has been created so these Oak Trees will have room to grow. When they are mature, they will produce an abundance of acorns for wildlife to feed on.
Ø Food Plots - Consultation for creating Feed Plots on your land to attract wildlife. A food plot is a planted area which becomes a supplementary food source for wildlife. They generally consist of forages such as: clovers, alfalfa, grains or certain wildflowers. By managing your forests you can incorporate patch clear cuts which can become "natural" food plots, forming thickets of dense growth for food & cover. These natural feed plots will feed many species of wildlife throughout the year. They also provide opportunities for better hunting and wildlife viewing.
Snags or Wildlife Trees are standing dead and dying trees providing important habitats for wildlife to live. They will bring new wildlife to your property for you to enjoy. The dead (or even trees that have a portion such as a dead limb) will attract Birds, Small Mammals & Insects who will use these trees for nests, nurseries, storage areas, foraging, roosting & perching. Think of them as Wildlife Condos! If a property lacks snag "trees", they can be created through girdling.
This "Snag" was left standing on a recent job we did. These cavities were created by Woodpeckers and will be enjoyed by many types of Wildlife.
Ø Fort Mountain Companies has worked on projects for many landowners and organizations, they include:
· Many Private Landowners
· NH National Guard (Pembroke)
· U. S. Government
· NH Fish & Game
· NH Forests & Lands
· UNH Woodlands Program – The picture below shows a tour given the group of one of our harvests.
Fort Mountain Companies is working with Green Mountain Kennels, Inc. – Shooting Preserve to create an Early Successional Habitat. Green Mountain is a Wildlife Recreational Shooting Preserve which is committed to providing an ideal habitat for upland game species. As our forests mature they are no longer ideal places for wildlife to thrive. This is where we are able to help Landowners to recreate that perfect habitat by bringing back the Early Successional Habitat to their forest.
For more information on wildlife habitat management in New Hampshire, visit their website at: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/habitat/management.html