Monday, February 6, 2012

Sophomores Mark Boundaries on School Forests

Sophomore students in Forest Management and Wildlife Management were taken to two of the school forests, the Beaty and the Fowler, to mark the entire boundaries of those tracts of land to meet requirements for the new land owner protection policy recently established. The Fowler tract, 320 acres, took two full days to reach the 5,500 foot summit, so we took one lab section up the east most boundary to the top, and another day took the second lab group up the west most boundary to the same point we finished a day earlier. The Beaty forest is 53 acres and not nearly as steep. The policy states that a purple stripe 8” long and 4” wide, at approximately 4 feet high on the tree, and spaced 100 feet from each marked tree, alerts the public that the land inside of the boundary that has been painted, is not to be entered without written approval from the land owner. This gave the students the opportunity to experience boundary making with the new guidelines and to locate boundaries with aerial photos, and the metes and bounds deed descriptions of those properties. These forests were surveyed over 12 years ago for the Beaty forest, and 20 year ago for the Fowler forest, so students had to search for iron pins of the turning points and witness trees that help orient where turning points were located. Forestry instructor, Bob Pinkston is the only staff member to have been around the entire boundaries of each forest and the only one to have been to the summit of the Fowler, and has done so numerous times. Wildlife instructor Chris Graves also supervised students with Bob on both forests to become knowledgeable of the schools boundary locations. Only one other group of students has ever marked the Fowler and reached the summit, the Forest Recreation class of 2005. The class of 2012 signed a plastic posted sign on the summit in honor of this prestigious trek. A great learning experience for all as well as a very tough physical challenge. Classes involved were, Aerial Photo Interpretation/Surveying, Wildlife Maintenance Techniques, and the capstone class for forestry students, Forest Management (post by Bob Pinkston).

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