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NEST survey season for 2017 has begun!

May 17, 2017

redtreevole

Can you find the tree vole in this picture?

Please contact us if you would like to survey.  This year’s season has started early and is likely to go well into the fall.  entrance to red tree vole nest

Close up of a red tree vole nest’s entrance.  You can really make out the resins ducts.

NEST surveyors efforts lead to the preservation of about 16 acres of red tree vole habitat in the Lang Dam timber sale.

March 20, 2017

Lang Dam is located near Cougar Hot Springs in the McKenzie Ranger district.   Nest surveyors spent roughly a week surveying the two units of the timber sale that had decent red tree vole habitat.  We found 12 nests and the Forest Service accepted our data and used our information to create red tree vole habitat buffers.  Below is a map of the habitat buffers that were created by the U.S.F.S. biologist who is working on the Lang Dam project.  Red tree vole buffer lang dam

Below is a picture of one of the nests found at Land Dam.  It was a nest inside the cavity of an old growth tree.  Units 210 and 220 were a mix of old growth remnant trees (trees that survived a catastrophic event such as fire or disease leading them to be significantly  older than the rest of the trees in the stand)  and younger forest, possibly 80-100 years old.  Those two units had older forest with remnants.  Red tree vole nest lang dam

Below is a picture of the nest that is inside the cavity pictured above:

red tree vole nest LD

NEST surveying getting started soon ! Tentative start time is end of June.

June 1, 2015

Contact us about your availabilities:  nestcascadia@gmail.com

We will be surveying all summer and into the fall.

View from unit 20 of Green Mountain

View from unit 20 of Green Mountain (click to enlarge).  Unit 20 will likely be dropped thanks to NEST’s efforts last year.  Come be a part of summer 2015 NEST season

Natural History of Red Tree Voles in Oregon – Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series

June 1, 2015

A great lecture on the natural history of the red tree vole with some great wildlife cam footage of the red tree vole foraging.

Comments on the Quartz Integrated Project are due Sept 26!

September 19, 2014
QPTreetopViewUnit4

Treetop View from Unit 4 of Quartz Project

 The Quartz Integrated Project is an 8,331 acre project area, located 22 miles southeast of the town of Cottage Grove – about a one hour drive away from Eugene. It is on publically owned US Forest service land, managed by the Cottage Grove Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest. This project area is in the Sharps Creek Watershed, which drains into the Dorena Reservoir. It is a well trafficked area for recreation, hiking, water sports, and other outdoor activities.

The preferred alternative of the USFS seeks to commercially thin 1,026 acres of forest. Some of these units are younger stands of 60-80 year old trees. However, as well as being intact and recovering ecosystems, many of the units contain stands aged 100 years or older. Many of these older stands contain old growth remnant trees.

Besides being valuable unto themselves, these remnant old growth areas are a prime habitat for the red tree vole – a Survey & Manage species,

Enterance to an active red tree vole nest, documented in Unit 20

Entrance to an active red tree vole nest in Unit 20

under the Northwest Forest Plan. According to the Quartz Project EA, only 13 trees were climbed to search for red tree voles. We believe there are many, many more occupied red tree vole habitat areas in the Quartz Project area. As of Sept 19, NEST has found and documented more than 30 red tree vole nests, within the Quartz Integrated Project. None of these areas have received protection under the preferred alternative (Alternative 2).

NEST urges supporters to submit comments regarding the Quartz Integrated Project. The area is located very near to Eugene – an easy location to visit, if people are interested in making a short trip. Of the three proposed alternatives, Alternative 1 – No Action – is our preferred alternative. We also ask that folks request that the area be thoroughly surveyed for red tree voles (a rare species that receives required habitat protection, under the USFS’ own survey & manage guidelines) and that citizen nest survey data – found by experienced NEST volunteer surveyors – be accepted.

To read the USFS’s Environmental Assessment (released August 2014) regarding the Quartz Project, please review this document.

To read the USFS’s Scoping Document (released Novemnber 2013) regarding the Quartz Project, please review this document.

Please send all comments (postmarked by the Sept 26, 2014 deadline) regarding the Quartz Integrated Project to:

Joseph Linn, District Ranger

Cottage Grove Ranger District

78405 Cedar Park Road

Cottage Grove, OR 97424

NEST finds 17 red tree vole nests in unit 40 of the Green Mountain timber sale!

July 31, 2014

Deadbranchcavity NEST has found 17 red tree vole nests in unit 40 of the Green Mountain project (timber sale).  3 of these nests were nests that the contract climbers didn’t find in their trees (or the tree vole recolonized the tree after they had climbed it because they had only found “inactive” nests in the tree and we found fresh green resin ducts and cuttings).  Pictured above is a nest in a huge old growth remnant tree that the ground surveyors and contract climbers missed.unit40colorcirclesNbuffers This is the map of unit 40. There are 17 circles representing 17 RTV nests located by NEST volunteers.   Each circle represents a 150′ radius around the tree, a minimum average tree length radius around the tree.  The red circles are trees we believe to definitely contain active red tree vole nests.  The yellow circles are inactives, and the pink are trees that could be labeled either way depending on the biologists subjective judgment of whether or not the resin ducts in those particular nests are “green” enough to be labeled active. There are potentially two buffers: one containing 15 or 11 nests, and another buffer containing 1 nest.  There could be one big buffer compromising the whole unit, but if they want to maximize timber output and follow the bare minimum of the management guidelines then they would draw 2.  Following the management guidelines the everything behind the black lines should be buffered from any ground disturbing activity.  The only discrepancy would be the 4 nests inactive nests in the southwest corner of the unit.  They wouldn’t have to be included in a buffer because, technically, they are too far from an active tree vole nest (according to the management guidelines any inactive that is 100m from an active nest is to be included in the habitat buffer).  If the biologist is not looking to protect these 4 inactives, then the brown line diverging from the black line would indicate the buffer zone.   The buffer with one nest tree will most likely have its buffer drawn outside of the unit (and across the road) in a forest that looks like it must have been thinned, if that forest is still considered “suitable habitat”.  If not then they would have to completely buffer out unit 40.  At any rate, it looks like even given the situation of the minimum amount of buffers provided for, there is about a 15 to18 acre reduction in unit 40, which is about 25 acres. IMGP0414Also of interest in unit 40 is the spotted owl seen in the photo.  He/she spent two days with the NEST surveyors in unit 40, basically hanging out while we climbed trees. Still to come is the results for unit 41, about a 10 acre unit.  We have already found 4 red tree vole nests, 3 of which are active.

Surveys Begin July 9th! Join us…

July 4, 2014

Summer is back, and  NEST is preparing to strike out in the field to begin our 2014 summer survey season. We are scheduled to begin on July 9th.

If you would like to join us – either now or later in the summer, please email us with when you would like to come, your forest/climbing/NEST experience, how you heard of us, how many people you might bring, if you have your own transportation, and how long you might stay.

Like always, we most optimally ask for a two week commitment for first-time volunteers, in order to be fully trained. However, we will accept shorter stays, if you communicate your schedule in advance.
 
An in town contact phone number will be posted on the website shortly. Also, feel free to email us at anytime: nestcascadia@gmail.com. Both will be checked throughout the summer.

Thanks for your support, and hope to see you in the woods!