In 2012 RSC completed a 50 acre variable density thinning project in a 70 year old Douglas-fir stand in order to increase diversity, lower fuel loads, and accelerate old-growth characteristics. The work was conducted by Island Excavating (Orcas Island) and the useable wood was sold to offset the costs of treatment.
RSC completed this project in early 2014 and continues to provide forest management services, allowing the 2,200 acre forestland to become FSC certified and meet desired production goals for a sustainable supply of high quality Douglas-fir sawtimber. All harvested timber is milled on-site by Blakely Island Timber Company with options for kiln drying and machining finished product such as flooring and paneling.
In an effort to help increase the number of populations of the federally threatened golden paintbrush plant (Castilleja levisecta), we have worked in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy & USFWS to outplant new individuals in the islands. We are currently monitoring their success and plan on continuing these efforts in the coming years.
We co-developed and managed a three year restoration project focused on the restoration of 40-acres of Garry oak habitat in one of northern Puget Sound’s most intact Garry oak stands. The project involved selective tree removal, woody fuel reduction, pile burning, native grass planting and monitoring.
Partially funded by USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, this project entailed managing a 14-acre fuels reduction and forest stand improvement thinning operation. RSC employed local labor for cutting and felling and also collaborated with the Washington Conservation Corps to help with slash and fuel clean up.
RSC implemented a grant funded, 2-acre Garry oak restoration project on Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island. Work involved releasing mature oak trees from competing Douglas-fir as well as Himalayan blackberry control.
We are currently in phase II of the Garry oak habitat restoration project mentioned above. This new phase of the project focuses on the restoration of the diverse suite of wildflowers and native grasses which depend on these ecosystems to thrive.
Rain Shadow Consulting co-managed the transport, installation, and site improvements for a 30-foot, hand carved, Tlingit style pole. We installed all rigging systems and directed the 200 person raising crew. Carved by Scott Jensen.
We regularly conduct on-site tree health and hazard assessment consultations for Island Gardens’ clients throughout the San Juans. We have also worked with them to assess the status of native rocky bald/grassland vegetation adjacent to project sites in order to better incorporate native species into their landscape designs.
In Fall 2014 Rain Shadow helped to decrease the fire danger around the UW’s Friday Harbor Labs campus. Based on recommendations by the San Juan County Fire Marshall, more space was created around buildings by careful tree removal. Our expert climber, Galen, spent many hours up in the trees pruning and also removing some trees piece by piece. Much of the debris was chipped, and grass was planted in the newly opened areas. The campus still has a “woodsy” feel to it when you visit, but the risk of fire is now greatly decreased.
We had the pleasure of working on a 50-acre meadow on Henry Island this fall. The land is privately owned, but the San Juan Preservation Trust owns a conservation easement on the property. It was the Trust who encouraged the family to work on maintaining the openness of the meadow, as grasslands are increasingly rare in our region. Our crew spent 10 days removing small trees and shrubs, and mowing…and mowing some more. We dug up dozens of English hawthorn trees and spread seeds of native grasses and wildflowers in the disturbed areas. We look forward to seeing the meadow next spring!