Land Management performs ‘ecological timber thinning’ on county-owned property

logs stacked up top each other scaled

June 1, 2023 – Flagler County Land Management is currently working on an ecological timber thinning project on county-owned property that is designed to improve the remainder of the pine tree stand on the site and promote species diversity by stimulating herbaceous plant growth for wildlife.

“We want to let people know that this project is not clear cutting for development,” said Public Lands and Natural Resources Manager Michael Lagasse. “This project is performed as part of responsible management practices and is being overseen by Ralph Risch, the designated ‘forester-in-charge,’ to ensure the thinning is done in a way that will enhance the health and vigor of remaining trees and to create healthier conditions for wildlife.”

The 497-acre property, located generally south and west of Old Kings Road and east of Interstate 95, was acquired from the St. Johns River Water Management District in 2014. Land Management is thinning 316 acres to lessen the density of the planted pines while avoiding impacts to the 181 acres of cypress dome and other sensitive wetland species on the site.

Revenues from the project will be used to further the land management activities on both this property and the Princess Place Preserve. Weather permitting, the work is anticipated to be completed by the end of June.

“An added benefit is that the reduced density of flammable vegetation essentially mitigates the intensity of any possible future wildfire on the site,” Lagasse said.

For questions about this ecological timber thinning, or other county-owned land conservation related topics, contact Lagasse at mlagasse@flaglercounty.gov or by phone at 386-313-4064.

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By Julie Murphy

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