Forest management has begun as part of the overall management of a 160-acre property on Metcalf Lake in Barry County.
The parcel of land, donated to the city by David Bailey in 1999, sits at North Avenue and Baseline Road, at the Barry/Calhoun County line.
Until entering a 10-year agreement with the Calhoun Conservation District a year ago, the city did not have the resources to develop and maintain the property. The vision in the property deed is to maintain it for public use and enjoyment.
As the CCD works to develop a management plan for the entire property, the vision includes hiking paths, a gravel parking lot, a picnic pavilion and a dock in the lake.
“The Calhoun Conservation District will manage the property for recreation and natural resources,” said CCD Executive Director Tracy Bronson.
As part of the first steps toward that preservation, CCD staff is working with a retired U.S. Department of Agriculture forester to use best practices in managing the overcrowded woodlands on the property. Twice this year so far, the CCD has harvested timber and reseeded, in an effort to meet the goal of an uneven-aged stand of trees, opening the tree canopy and allowing younger trees to continue growing.
Proceeds from the timber sales will benefit the development of this site and other’s managed by the Calhoun Conservation District.
The site also was leased for a deer hunt during the 2015 season, in an effort to manage the deer population and promote new seedling growth.