Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:19:00 CST — by: Amy Turner
The OESS has initiated a long overdue Domain management planning process that builds on previous efforts over the past 119 years. We have engaged the Nature Conservancy and the Forest Stewards Guild for their review and input. As part of the planning process, our partners are facilitating the certification of the Domain as a sustainable forest through both the Rainforest Alliance’s FSC process, and the Forest Stewards Guild Model forest program. We hope to have a completed management plan out for final review by fall 2018.
Our goal with this 10-year plan is to define current and desired ecological conditions, highlight where management activities are planned, and provide detailed follow-up to recent management activities. The plan will coordinate future management activities with research and recreational opportunities and will allow Domain users to know in advance where forest management or other activities are proposed to occur. As management activities take place on the Domain, we plan to closely monitor post-treatment effects and adapt future management activities accordingly.
Historically, management plans at Sewanee have divided the Domain into individual compartments. The 2018 management plan is taking a landscape approach and grouping compartments into conservation areas. Within each conservation area, features and attributes specific to individual compartments will still be discussed, but planning will be focused on larger land areas. For example, all four compartments that comprise Lost Cove are one conservation area and will be addressed in one section in the management plan. North and south facing escarpment compartments are grouped together and the plateau compartments comprise three additional conservation areas. Within conservation areas, the compartment boundaries will remain intact and specific recommendations may still be grouped by compartment, but they may cross historic compartment boundaries to create more ecologically appropriate recommendations.
The proposed schedule involves drafting the management plan by conservation areas and sending each section out for review, external and internal, to allow ample time for collaboration and discussion. The ultimate goal for a final draft is October 2018. More details and opportunities to provide input will be forthcoming.