Tree thinning project in the works

We will begin a project to thin out the forest on our campus later this year.

The Skidaway Institute campus consists of approximately 700 acres of mostly wooded land on the north end of Skidaway Island. Sometime over the next several months, we expect the thinning project to get underway. This will not be a “clear cutting project.” We are just thinning out the forest to promote the healthy growth of the remaining trees. Crews will thin the woods by cutting every fifth row of the stand as well as any adjacent malformed or out of place trees.

The project will involve the woods on both sides of McWhorter Road, from just north of the triangle at OSCA Road to the developed portion of the Skidaway campus.

We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful piece of property here, and we try to maintain it as a natural laboratory. As a coastally-located oceanographic institute, we are very sensitive to environmental considerations. We will be using state-of-the-art practices which will ensure that the thinning operations have minimal impact on the surrounding forest, and we will be especially careful to ensure that operations don’t affect our nearby marshes and tidal creeks. We look at this as necessary maintenance to keep the forest strong and healthy.

We don’t expect this project to seriously inconvenience our neighbors here on Skidaway Island. However, residents and visitors will probably notice the log trucks traveling up and down McWhorter Road.  In addition, it will be necessary to limit public access to much of the forested portions of the Skidaway campus during operations.

The tree thinning project is being managed by the Georgia Forestry Commission. We expect to finalize a contract with tree contractor by mid-April. The actual thinning will probably begin later in the year.

For additional information, anyone can call Mike Sullivan at (912) 598-2325 or email mike.sullivan@skio.usg.edu.

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