Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Letter to the Editor

Wyoming tree farm/forest stewardship field day - an open invitation


September 12, 2019

The Wyoming State Forestry Division located in Newcastle serves in an advisory capacity for assisting private landowners with timber land management planning and project supervision.

As a vehicle to help educate, involve and assist private landowners with the challenging and demanding task of putting sustainable forestry management practices on the ground, the Wyoming State Forestry Division supports voluntary landowner forest management organizations like the American Tree Farm System or simply Tree Farm, a nationwide forest stewardship program for private landowners, and the State of Wyoming Forest Stewardship Program.

Forestland owners, old, new or prospective, with small or large ownerships, or anyone who simply wants to learn more about forest management issues and practices, are invited to attend the upcoming Wyoming Tree Farm/Forest Stewardship/WY State Forestry Division Field Day on Friday, September 27 at the Pearson Ranch, located about five miles north west of Aladdin, WY. The address is 465 Oak Creek Road.

Arrive between 9:30 and 10 a.m. The program and tour will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude around 2 p.m. A social break and a hot lunch will be provided about midway.

You will receive “Howdy” welcoming signs as free tokens for your attendance and to help us promote the production of local wood products. Some great made from wood door prizes will also be given away. RSVP is helpful but not required: contact Lori at 746-4261 or by e-mail: [email protected]

The theme for the Field Day is: “Oaks in the Pines”, so you can expect the tour and discussion to deal with both pine and hardwood management issues. Subjects to be addressed are: thinning for timber harvest management, thinning to improve grazing and keeping the hardwoods in balance to be a benefit. Expect to learn about programs available for thinning, brush management, fuels reduction, vegetative management and demonstrations of disc and drum mowers for woody plant control. Representatives from Diamond Mowers (mowers and grinders), Halverson Wood Products (skid-steer attachments and firewood processors) and herbicide chemical treatment will be in attendance.

State Foresters, forestry contractors, NRCS, Conservation Districts and Crook County Weed & Pest will be on hand to visit with you about your particular forest land plans and field your questions.

A bit of history: the Field Day host, the historic Pearson Ranch, was establish in 1889 by John Pearson. Chuck Pearson is the fourth generation on the ranch and sons, Clint and Wade, who are also on the ranch, are fifth generation.

The Black Hills was not open for settlement (Fort Laramie Treaties and isolation from major migration routes) until after the Custer Expedition of 1874 and the discovery of gold. Within a year or two, the rush was on to the Black Hills Region.

John Pearson arrived in the area in 1885, just 11 years behind the Custer Expedition. The present-day Pearson Ranch was established by John just four years later.

Interestingly, the Pearson Ranch is located on or very close to the route that the Custer Expedition took on July 20, 1874. After crossing nearly 300 miles of open prairie, in route to the Black Hills from Fort Lincoln, on the Missouri River (Mandan, ND), the Expedition camped near what is now Colony on July 19 and crossed the Belle Fourche River and entered the Black Hills.

The Expedition’s first camp within the Black Hills was about five miles south of the Pearson Ranch, along the South Fork of Hay Creek. As you drive to the Field Day, you will drive the south end of the Oak Creek Road, where it passes through a gap in Coal Land Ridge.

This was the route of the Custer Expedition, just before they called it a day and set up camp for the night. Perhaps the Field Day will offer some good discussion and opinions about what Custer saw as he passed through the same area as this year’s Field Day.

Ed Mignery

WY Tree Farm Committee, Chairman


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