U.S. Forest Service hosts meeting on project to fight oak decline

This is an example of oak decline in the Mark Twain National Forest. (courtesy, U.S. Forest Service)
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AVA, Mo. - The U.S. Forest Service has a plan called The Siloam Springs Project to fight oak decline and other forest health issues in the Mark Twain National Forest. District Ranger Joe Koloski invites people to attend the Siloam Springs Open House to exchange ideas about the project and to meet with the project team.

The open house is Thursday, April 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Ozark Regional Office, 551 Joe Jones Blvd., West Plains, MO 65775.

The project area is approximately six miles northwest of West Plains on the Willow Springs Unit of the Mark Twain National Forest (MTNF) within Douglas and Howell Counties.

Droughts, late frosts, ice storms, and outbreaks of spring defoliators have stressed trees in the area in recent years. Older, suppressed, and otherwise weakened trees have become susceptible to additional problems such as root rot, insects, and fungus, The combination of stress factors contributed to the decline of trees that may have otherwise withstood one stress at a time.

This project is needed to address decline in forest health, to maintain the non-declining stands, and to promote tree-species diversity and age-diversity needed to support a healthy natural community. A combination of commercial harvest, non-commercial treatments, and prescribed fire would be used to move the area toward the desired condition.

Anyone interested in the proposed actions for this project can read more about it by reviewing the project package online>/a>.

If you plan to attend the Siloam Springs Open House, please RSVP with Allen Weathersbee by telephone at (417) 683-4428 ext. 131 or by email at aaweathersbee@fs.fed.us.

Copies of the scoping package are also available at the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs District Office, 1103 S. Jefferson, Ava, Missouri between of 8:00 and 4:30 on weekdays.

This is an example of oak decline in the Mark Twain National Forest. (courtesy, U.S. Forest Service)