Timber cut set for Woolman site | TheUnion.com

Timber cut set for Woolman site

Trees at a former Quaker boarding school where environmentalists once led seminars to protest logging practices will be cut to reduce fire hazards and grow a stronger, healthier forest.

The proposal to log 56 acres on the 230-acre property that formerly housed John Woolman School, off Woolman Lane, is under review by the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Trees will be planted on 11 acres of the property that is currently 3understocked,² according representatives of the Sierra Friends Center.

The 56-acre parcel is overgrown and a potential fire hazard, representatives of the center said Wednesday.

The last tree harvest was in the early 1970s, said Harold Blickenstaff, a board member of College Park Friends Educational Association of Nevada City and former principal at Woolman. Very little has been done since then, he added.

Pete Walden, the forester who wrote the timber management plan, said 20 percent of the trees will be harvested. The operation will also include replanting trees and taking out dead and dying trees, he said.

The trees, 90 percent of which are ponderosa pines, are too close together and do not get enough sunlight and nutrients, he said.

Terry Fieldhouse, a College Park board member, said the marketable timber will be sold. There are no plans to construct new buildings on the campus, he added.

Eric Carr, the CDF forester assigned to western Nevada County, said weaker trees are more susceptible to bark beetles, insects that kill pine.

Woolman School closed its doors in October 2001 because of low enrollment. It reopened as the Sierra Friends Center this year and will be the future temporary home of Bitney Springs Charter School, Fieldhouse said.

Over the years, students at the school took stands against Sierra Pacific Industries1 logging practices, the dictatorship ruling Myanmar in southeast Asia and other contemporary issues.

Sierra Friends Center rents its buildings for retreats, workshops and family reunions.

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