Dear Preserve Stewards,
This cold weather sure gets me in the mood for some snow! Which reminds me – before we get any serious weather, it would be a good idea for everyone to get out there one more time to check over the trail system to make sure that there are no serious issues (like big trees down). It’s a lot easier for the crew and I to deal with things now rather than waiting until there’s a ton of snow covering everything up! We have had some significant wind lately and you never know what might have come down. Over the past few weeks Dave and Tyler have been primarily focused on continuing along with the drill and fill aspen herbiciding project. We have hired contractors who are also working on drill and fill and between their crews and our crew we will have several hundred more aspen free acres for potential burning come spring! Very exciting! I have primarily been working on organizing and planning for the winter season, as well as dealing with seed (lupine has been brought to Saratoga for cleaning, and the rest of the seed is now being stored in the basement of the Discovery Center to avoid the ravenous chipmunks in the barn) and mowing. I have mowed two out of three sites for the year with the goal of stimulating lupine growth, flowering, and seed set. Last year we noticed a positive correlation between mowed sites and lupine performance, so it will be interesting to see if the correlation hold for this year as well. That’s it for now, I will be off next week for Christmas break and will talk to you all after the New Year! I hope that your Holiday Season is joyous and filled with much wonder and love.
~Jesse Hoffman, Preserve Steward