Island Nature Trust
Restoration of the Acadian Forest in INT Protected Natural Areas
This project took place in several Island Nature Trust (INT)- owned Natural Areas across Prince Edward Island, including Mount Albion, Cable Head East, and Iona. The goals of this project were to:
Initiate production of Forest Management Plans (FMPs) for three to four natural areas, while also reviewing the FMPs already existing for natural areas and create a detailed work plan for each selected natural area
Undertake silviculture treatments to prepare monoculture forest stands for spring planting of native trees and shrubs suitable for the local conditions
Develop planting plans for treatment areas that focus on native hardwood species
Secure sufficient seed & planting stock for spring planting through multiple mechanisms
Hold educational outreach events at natural areas in the fall or winter to talk to Islanders about our work to create resilient forest habitat for Island wildlife
As a result of this project, one FMP was initiated for natural area in Cable Head East. Two forest plantation stands in two natural areas (in Iona and Mount Albion) were sustainably thinned to allow for better growth of the remaining trees and for diversification plantings in the future. Securement of planting stock for the 2021 field season has been initiated through both provincial grants and through private nurseries. Also, three public educational events were held to increase awareness surrounding forest plantations and efforts to restore their habitat integrity for wildlife and for climate change adaptation.
Unmanaged monoculture forest plantation stands provide very little value to wildlife. Though the process of forest restoration is slow, by thinning these plantation stands and re-establishing a diversity of native species, significantly better habitat and food sources can be provided to wildlife over time. Especially in the face of climate change, making these weak sections of forest healthier and more resilient will benefit all wildlife, including native birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.