Integrated Forest Management Plan
Integrated Forest Management Plan
The Woodlands Township takes the responsibility of managing the community’s forest seriously, and since 2000 has used an Integrated Forest Management Plan to ensure the health of the forest. 2011 was one of the worst one-year droughts for the state since Texas rainfall data started being collected in 1895. In addition, there were more than 40 days of over 100 degree temperatures as compared to an average of three days over 100 degrees in a normal year, causing many trees to die. Per the Forest Management Plan, dead trees are to be removed once they are inspected to ensure that they are dead.
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has received presentations on the drought conditions, tree removal, reforestation and related impacts to The Township’s Budget in October 2011, January 2012, February 2012, May 2012, June 2012, and July 2012.
Removal of Trees
Since the beginning of 2011, Parks and Recreation Department and its contractors have removed several thousand trees as part of this program. Approximately 9,428 trees were removed in 2011 (7,480-Parks and Open Spaces and 1,948 Streetscape Areas) which do not include tree removals by the County and on private and commercial property. Through the middle of August 10,731 trees have been removed (8,942-Parks and Open Spaces and 1,789 Streetscape Areas). To assist with this effort, The Woodlands Township has brought on eight contractors which is in addition to the two contractors normally used for tree removal. Currently, the Township has an estimated 40 individuals working for contractors on the removal of trees and debris in the parks and open space system. At the Board’s July 2012 meeting additional funding was approved to expedite the removal of trees and to assist with this effort a company was contracted to identify and tag trees in the community’s open space and reserves. Additional funding has been set aside by The Woodlands Township Board of Directors in the 2013 budget to allow for further tree removal as a result of this drought.
To date there has been no reforestation effort in the community since March 2011. In February 2012, the Board was advised that reforestation would not commence until after the forest inventory and audit was conducted and conditions warranted. This audit was conducted in April 2012 and indicated a 16.38% mortality rate, however 61% (32,050) of these trees are under six (6) inches in diameter. The Township Board did not accept a reforestation bid at their June 2012 meeting due to the prices not being favorable and reviewed the specifications at their July meeting. Currently, a revised bid has been released and is anticipated to be brought back to the Board at their September meeting.
Forest Management Plan
In response to the Drought of 2011, the Board of Directors is planning to update the Integrated Forest Management Plan. A forest management consultant will be used to identify if new management approaches should be used given the impact of the drought on the community’s forest. This update is scheduled to take place in 2013, pending budget approval.
The Woodlands Township continues to provide information on the drought and the steps that it is taking to address the results of the drought through press releases, information provided at Board and Village Association meetings, and this Web site.
Updated: August 13, 2012
Please see the links below and at left for additional information.