Quincy High School students take on forest enhancement project
A recently completed forest health project has given a group of Quincy High School students plenty of experience on what it takes to maintain a healthy forest for wildlife and reducing the threat of fire.
With funds from the California Fish and Game Commission and resources donated by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the Feather River Resource Conservation District coordinated a pilot project with QHS teacher Matt McMorrow’s Natural Resources class to improve the quality of the forest habitat near the school. These lands are part of the Learning Landscapes Program initiated by the Feather River Land Trust, which seeks to provide sustainable access to natural lands within a 10-minute walk from every school in Plumas County.
Through Plumas National Forest and private resource specialists who volunteered their time, plus considerable preparation by McMorrow, the students learned to identify native trees and shrubs, survey a plot of land, monitor wildlife activity and evaluate what vegetation to remove for the benefit of wildlife and reduction of fire hazards. Students also learned the importance of how their little acre fits into a much larger plan of reducing fire hazard for the entire Quincy community.
Of the 9.5 acres of forested upland that is part of the Learning Landscape parcel, the students chose a challenging one-acre plot of dense undergrowth that is located between the high school and residential area at the end of Kelsey Lane.
In a narrative written during the beginning of the project, students of McMorrow’s class wrote the following: “In our project we would like to continue our study of wildlife and emulate the biodiversity of our native wildlife, such as deer, squirrels and birds. We will try to avoid attracting bears. We would like to make sure it is clean, usable and enjoyable to all.”
The students have definitely been successful in helping to create a healthy forest habitat. It is now up to future classes to expand the work and to monitor and observe what has already been treated.