Jack pine stands: In spite of the October wind and the November snow;
Armed with computer generated type maps and the infamous remote sensing specialist himself, an aerial survey was conducted on Thursday March 25th along the jack pine corridor from Motley up the Crow Wing River to Itasca Park. A large circle around Lake George and a side flight along the Ponsford Prairie down through Smokey Hills to Wolf Lake was also completed. Armed with reports of widespread windthrow, top breakage and lodging, we expected to take a full two days to map the stands affected by straight line winds that occurred in October 98 and heavy wet snow and wind from a storm the second weekend of November. What we saw from the air was another matter. While damage along road corridors and salvage operations already underway were visible, no distinct damage patterns were visible. Natural Jack pine stands had so much old or background damage visible in them, that the broken off green crowns and clear white tops of standing boles that were obvious while walking on the ground, seemed insignificant from the air.
Alas, it was a good try, but all jack pine stands have breakage in them! You just have to take the paint gun and walk through them. On Tuesday, March 30th, several damaged sites close to the nursery were revisited and the damage was there. In this case, aerial survey was not the answer. Not all was lost in our air time, however, as we did locate several areas for porky control projects. They will be checked again during flights in June or July to see if the broken boles or lost tops become visible from the air. In the mean time, damaged stands close to Badoura will be monitored to see if bark beetle build up occurs.