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The University of South Carolina Lancaster Educational Foundation has approved a plan to harvest trees from a 25-acre tract of land on campus north of Hubbard Drive.
The land management project, set to begin this month, will thin out diseased and less productive trees in the area in the interest of focusing on older-growth “legacy trees.”
The project is intended to improve the ecological health of the wooded property and further the campus’ long-range planning.
“This harvesting process will allow the university to continue the implementation of our long-term strategic plan and will be another step in the process of preparing campus acreage for future use,” said USCL Dean Dr. Walt Collins.
Lancaster Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman and USCL Educational Foundation member Bill Ardrey said while he understands some conservation advocates may not like the idea of tree removal, the project will be good for the forests’ overall health.
“Prudent management requires thinning and clearing undergrowth to promote a stronger, healthier forest,” said Ardrey, who is a forester. Harvesting trees on these two pieces of property should have been done years ago.
“Many of the pine trees are nearing their life expectancy and need to be removed,” Ardrey said. “It’s the best thing for the property and it will allow the monument trees to thrive.”
Ardrey said he anticipates eight to 10 trees per acre will be left to develop and mature. He also said existing buffers will be left in place along certain property lines.
The project should be finished within several weeks.