Camas lily fields - Closed for tree removal.
40 Douglas fir trees have got to go. The Clark County Public Works and the Vancouver - Clark Parks and Recreation Americorp Team are removing the trees near the Camas lily fields at Lacamas Lake Regional Park. The project is part of a habitat enhancement project designed to benefit Oregon white oak.
The project got under way on November 28th and will continue until December 3rd. For your safety, the south side of the Camas lily fields is closed until all the trees are removed. Downed trees will trunks will be left in place to provide additional wildlife habitat. Branches will be removed and scattered to further improve habitat.
Removing the firs will improve the health of the Oregon white oak trees that encircle the Camas lily fields. The faster growing Douglas firs negatively affect the white oaks, which need full sun to thrive. The oaks should start producing larger acorn crops and more branches once the firs are removed.
Oregon white oak is Washington's only native oak tree. An important aspect of most all native plants and trees is their ability to provide much needed habitat for wildlife. The diversity of wild bird species is often higher in oak forests than in nearby conifer forests. The western squirrel, which is threatened in Washington, also finds a good home in white oak.
Many homeowners ( and park managers) don't plant Oregon white oak because of it's slow growing nature. However, it's worth the wait and obviously has a lot to offer our wildlife. In addition, these lovely hardwoods are able to withstand droughts and flooding, and often do well on sites that are either too dry or too exposed for other species.
If your hiking or running in Lacamas Lake Park this weekend, be advised that the south side of the Camas lily fields might be closed for clearing. Just keep in mind that the project has long term benefits to Oregon white oaks and our area wildlife. And that's good for all of us.