The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) worked together and funded a tree-planting project on Grassy Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) this past fall and spring.
Forest managers designed this project to expedite the establishment of two red oak species into the vast areas of the present bitter pecan dominated forests.
Approximately 60 acres (three 20-acre units) were involved in this phase of the project. Last fall, the timber was harvested to create early successional habitat and short-term deer browse, and to prepare the site for tree planting. This past February, QDMA and NWTF planted 12,000 oak seedlings to provide mast for numerous wildlife species and a seed source for further establishment of this desirable forest component.
Wildlife populations are tied closely to their environment. For forest dwelling species such as deer and turkey, the successional stage, tree species composition and stand structure are important. Habitat management is one of the most effective tools of wildlife managers, and developing desirable habitat conditions in the WMA forests is most efficiently accomplished through sound forest management.
Nuttall oak and willow oak are naturally - but very slowly - becoming established, and are part of the future forest on Grassy Lake WMA. Currently, the majority of the forest types on this area are composed primarily of bitter pecan; while this species has its place, the two red oaks, with their high wildlife value and faster growth rates, will be important in the future forests.
The partnering of these two conservation organizations shows their commitment to supporting wildlife and habitat management for current and future generations.
For more information, contact Buddy Dupuy at 318-487-5631 or cell 318-542-5755.