Pineola Bog South Benefits from Lessons Learned through the Bog Learning Network (May 2014)

As some may recall, Pineola Bog South (PBS) was one of the sites included in round robin discussions at the inaugural Bog Learning Network meeting in 2012.  A northern subtype Southern Appalachian Bog, PBS is a 19.5-acre tract in Avery County along the east bank of the Linville River. This bog was purchased by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (DPR) in 2006 and is now managed by staff from Elk Knob State Park.

Based on the discussions during the initial BLN meeting, DPR developed a “no regrets” series of management actions. Very little management was conducted prior to the first BLN meeting.  That first BLN meeting was instrumental in opening our eyes about what was possible. In the two short years since that time, DPR staff has developed objectives, mapped the bog, delineated the bog into three discrete management zones, prioritized the zones, outlined actions required to achieve the objective and began implementation in spring 2013. Staff decided to remove 50-75% of the alders from the highest priority areas. Implementation began with the thinning of the dense hardwood shrub layer (alder spp.) in the highest priority zone (Figure 1), which covered nearly this entire management zone.

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The herbaceous layer was heavily suppressed, although Gray’s lily is common around the more open margins. Today staff is nearly 50% of the way though phase one. The work in the first zone was completed in the spring of 2014, and you can see the effects in the two recent photos taken during the early growing season.

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DPR has never seen an herbaceous component like this at Pineola. DPR will be completing this phase of the management later this month, and then moving on to the second zone in the fall of 2014, where they will thin more alders, but at a lower rate. This feels like progress and is proof positive that small actions can make a big difference.

Management of Pineola Bog South was recently detailed in The STEWARD which highlights the latest news of North Carolina’s State Parks System.

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