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Timber Harvest Planned at DuPont State Forest

leah kirk

As part of the resource management mission of the DuPont State Recreational Forest, a timber sale has been approved on the southern end of the nearly 11,000-acre forest, which sits on the Transylvania and Henderson county border. The North Carolina Council of State, which must approve all land sales, recently OK'd the 42-acre sale of mostly white pines along Reasonover Road.

“It’s part of the forest management plan,” said Ranger Bruce MacDonald, communications director for DuPont Forest. “We will remove some old white pine. A lot of white pines were planted at the time DuPont Corporation owned the property in the 1950s and ‘60s. These trees get really old and big and start deteriorating. We try to get in some other species like yellow pines and pitch pine and we might even plant some short leaf pines. The idea is to mix species, get more diversity, which improves forest health and improves species composition. More diversity helps wildlife and other aspects of the forest as well.”

He said marking of trees to be logged and other prep work is now underway. The job will go out to bid to various companies that buy timber, and then the goal is to start logging this winter, to avoid wet conditions and the busy visitor season.

DuPont State Recreational Forest is managed by the North Carolina Forest Service. The name of the forest was changed to include “recreational” several years ago to account for the enormous influx of visitors and outdoor recreation that takes place on the forest, which has numerous waterfalls, lakes and some 80 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. More than 600,000 people visit the forest each year.

The forest was established in 2000 on land formerly owned by DuPont Corp., which produced silicon for the manufacturing of transistors and electronics in the 1950s, and in the ‘60s, medical X-ray films