Overlooked Pathways to Success By Gerald Almy
lanting trails, roadways, fire lanes, log landings and other openings in the woods lets you take advantage of unused space and provide more benefits for your land.
It was a short side trail a logger had used to haul out dead ash trees, diseased and lowquality oaks, and the occasional red maple I’d marked for harvest when we signed the forest work contract. It provided a modest source of income — very modest — which I immediately poured back into additional wildlife management projects. But income wasn’t the goal. That logging operation was meant to enhance the quality of the woods for wildlife through timber stand improvement. The purpose was to improve the growth of remaining trees and let more sunlight reach the forest floor to enhance regrowth of forbs, shrubs and browse whitetails could nibble on as they approached my food plots in lower terrain. But eventually, when I noticed deer tracks using that small logging road, several other skid trails and the clearing where the timber was loaded, I thought, “Why not make use of some of these newly open areas in a more hands-on, dynamic way?” The logger had cleared the trails and the log landing, so the hard work was done. Why not grow some pathway food plots in
Photo by Dustin Reid
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/ Vol. 29, No. 2