Assessing the Restoration Effort at Memorial Forest

Two representatives of MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP) recently joined SVT’s Laura Mattei for a tour of Memorial Forest and the Desert Natural Area on the Sudbury-Marlborough line. The trio assessed the current status of the long-term effort to restore pitch pine-scrub oak barrens at this site, with an eye toward determining our next steps.

Chris Buelow, Senior Restoration Ecologist, and Caren Caljouw, Prescribed Fire Program Manager, were impressed with the condition of the property, where we conducted a planned burn in 2014 and cleared trees in 2016. They noted an abundance of scrub oak as well as the presence of several plants that are characteristic of these types of barrens, such as Labrador Tea and pinweed.

Caren also made recommendations for how to prepare the site for our next planned burn, scheduled for 2022. (We had originally scheduled a burn for Spring 2020, but the pandemic forced us to postpone it.) SVT will be mowing (masticating) the cleared areas around the Desert Loop Trail this winter in preparation for the next burn.  

During the tour, Laura recorded these short videos of Chris and Caren describing the landscape.