Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project will improve Caldwell County Streams

Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project will improve Caldwell County Streams-attachment0

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C.: The U.S. Forest Service today announced that several streams around the Boone Fork Campground will be improved as part of the Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project now under way in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest.

“Thanks to $74,611 in matching funds from the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Forest Service and partners will restore several streams around Boone Fork Campground and relocate a trail near China Creek as part of the Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project,” said District Ranger John Crockett.

The stream restoration effort near Boone Fork Campground, which is closed this year, will improve water quality in Boone Fork and one of its tributaries, as well as Deep Cove Creek, by reducing erosion and enhancing passage and habitat for trout and other species. The project will enhance degraded stream banks and aquatic habitat at 13 areas along a half-mile stretch of Boone Fork. Other project goals include:

• Improving fish passage at one culvert on Deep Cove Creek.
• Removing four culverts and stabilizing an eroding stream bank along Boone Fork.
• Stabilizing a reservoir pipe.
• Planting native trees, shrubs and herbaceous ground cover on all disturbed stream banks to provide long-term bank stability, stream shading and cover and food for wildlife.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) are collaborating on the stream restoration effort titled the Boone Fork Stream Rehabilitation and Habitat Enhancement Plan.

NWTF has managed the Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project for more than a year through a stewardship agreement with the Forest Service. Stewardship contracts and agreements allow the Forest Service to conduct restoration and other stewardship projects by collaborating with partners and cost sharing. Receipts retained from timber sales corresponding with the restoration effort will enable the stream and trail work to be completed without additional cost to taxpayers.

Work Continues on the Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project       
More than half of the work is completed on the Mulberry-Globe Stewardship Project, which will help restore key wildlife and tree species to the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest.

“The work performed by the National Wild Turkey Federation and local contractors over the past year has attracted turkeys to the Globe area and laid the groundwork for tree species such as oaks to compete with less desirable species,” said District Ranger John Crockett. “The Mulberry-Globe project is an important project that benefits wildlife and promotes recreational opportunities, while protecting scenic values, water quality and other forest resources.”

Through the Mulberry-Globe project, the NWTF and local contractors have conducted timber harvests and other management practices at about 35 locations, totaling 357 acres, to help restore plant and animal species in the ranger district. The management practices include, among other things, creating early successional habitats (young forest and shrub-like areas). Numerous native plants and animals prefer these natural areas that have declined in Western North Carolina over the years. The newly opened areas will help fulfill the project’s primary goals which include:

• Improving habitat for turkeys, ruffed grouse, deer and black bears, as well as song birds and other wildlife; and
• Promoting the growth of native tree species such as white oak, red oak, hickory, black oak and chestnut oak that are often out-competed by species such as yellow poplar.
• Work on the Mulberry-Globe project began last summer and will include treating invasive plants on approximately 22 acres.

Besides the Boone Fork restoration effort, the Mulberry-Globe project seeks to promote water quality through a variety of measures. Contractors have placed large boulders to block 11 unauthorized roads and trails to reduce sedimentation and discourage trash dumping. Meanwhile, the Forest Service continues to monitor water quality in the Mulberry-Globe area to ensure area waterways remain healthy following the small harvests. Analysis by a Forest Service hydrologist shows the small harvests have not adversely affected water quality in the project area. 

The Mulberry-Globe project also produced economic benefits by providing work for six local small businesses and wood products for two local saw mills. Match funding provided by NWTF enabled the Forest Service to leverage the timber value to complete more on-the-ground restoration compared to a traditional timber sale contract.

This fall, NCWRC will finish seeding three of the five wildlife openings cleared by a local contractor, totaling about 11 acres. Additional work will be performed next year to ensure oaks and other desired tree species have a chance to thrive. Also, contractors will reconstruct 1.5 miles of trails to prevent erosion and sedimentation into China Creek.

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