The City of Cayce has partnered with Epting Forestry to begin harvesting city-owned timber in the Timmerman Trail area of the 12th Street Extension. Harvesting the mature, invasive pines will promote new growth, limit the spread of pests and disease, and provide a sanctuary for wildlife in the area.
Special precautions have been established to limit the interference of the trails and to protect the city’s precious historical sites. These precautions will also serve to create large buffer zones in the area to preserve the natural, wooded atmosphere. The City of Cayce expects the harvesting to be completed by the end of 2021.
There are many benefits of practicing sustainable forestry, as also promoted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), within the same general area of the city. The main objective of sustainable forestry is to maintain forests as healthy ecosystems that will provide economic, ecological, and social benefits for the future.
Active, best management practices for forestry provides benefits to the community, as well as the environment for present and future generations.
A few of those benefits are described below:
• Improved forest health––Overly mature forests are more prone to disease. As has been observed in many places on the city property, numerous trees have started to die out. As more trees die off, they attract more insects which could cause disease to spread throughout the entire forest. Scenarios like this present a very high risk of wildfire as well as loss of value to city property. Dead trees near the trails could also cause danger to public safety.
• Resource production–– Practicing good forest management creates and produces renewable resources that will be utilized in our community, such as building materials, paper, boxes, furniture, and toilet paper.
• Benefits to wildlife––All types of wildlife require diverse habitats to thrive. This property is currently lacking that necessary diversity because of the overly mature forests, which impacts the livelihood of wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and birds.
• Improved air quality–– A young, vigorous forest grows faster and sequesters more carbon out of the atmosphere than an overly mature forest. By sustainably harvesting the city property, we will allow the forest to regenerate pest and disease free, which will allow for future forests to be as healthy as possible.