Maxfield Meadows meadow and oak savannah restoration
Maxfield Meadows is a 370 acre parcel composed of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest, Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) woodland, and meadows managed by the Salem District BLM. Restoration of this
Maxfield Meadows is a 370 acre parcel composed of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest, Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) woodland, and meadows managed by the Salem District BLM. Restoration of this site was initiated in 2007. Restoration goals include improving oak woodland and savannah habitat and controlling invasive species (primarily false-brome, Brachypodium sylvatium). The Institute for Applied Ecology began working with the BLM to initiate restoration actions in 2008.
- Vegetation sampling in meadows. In 2008, we monitored vegetation transects originally sampled in 2004. We found that all meadows were heavily invaded, with higher cover and richness of invasive species relative to natives. However, sampling of areas that had been seeded after burning piled debris from thinning found that these areas were dominated by native species, suggesting that intense prescribed fire may be an effective restoration treatment in these meadows.
- Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus) introduction. Although it is unknown if L. oreganus was ever present at Maxfield Meadows, the nearest extant population is less than 1 mile away from Pit Road Meadow. In 2008, 1000 seeds were sown at Pit Road Meadow. This effort resulted in 11 individuals in 2010, suggesting that the habitat may be suitable for L. oreganus. However, this site is heavily invaded by exotic grasses and forbs and further introductions should be initiated only after restoration of this meadow.
- False-brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) control. Several patches of false-brome have been observed in the 10-5-19 parcel and forest adjacent to Pit Road Meadow. These patches varied in size from 2-3 individuals to a large patch extending along a creek. Since 2008, we have been treating these patches using manual and chemical methods.
- Xeric meadow restoration. In 2009, we initiated a small experiment to test several meadow restoration methods to inform restoration when funds become available to treat these areas. We found that burning plus seeding was the most effect treatment in terms of decreasing litter and increasing native cover, although native diversity did not increase and exotic cover remained high. We did not see a response from carbon addition, litter removal (raking), or only seeding.
- Oak savannah restoration. Restoration of the oak savannah, including selective timber harvest, brush clearing, a broadcast burn, and heavy seeding, is currently scheduled to begin in 2013. Activities that may be implemented by IAE include controlling invasive species, seeding, planting of oak seedlings, and treating soils to facilitate establishment of native species. Some of these activities may be implemented by IAE in 2014. Specific activities will be determined through consultation with BLM staff and dependent on site conditions post-timber harvest in September 2013.
- In 2013, timber harvest began. The total harvest is expected to be 268 acres of the site.