Electronic Field Guide » Restoration & Goals » Production Constraints

Prepared by Patrick Drohan (Ecosystem Science and Management)

The degree of restoration necessary to any site depends on the intended future use of the site. For example, growing veneer timber may require that a site be reclaimed to a condition similar to a native soil. Veneer timber must be particularly fine because it is used for furniture surfaces and specialized woodwork. A veneer log may bring twice the price of a timber-quality log. Although a site may have been used for veneer timber before Marcellus development, it may not be feasible to return the site to those exacting specifications. Reclamation success depends on investment and careful preplanning.
Various agricultural uses will require different levels of site reclamation. Subsoiling the upper meter of soil in an area to be used for hoop houses can greatly improve potential drainage issues. Specially mixed soil in raised beds or pots on tables is usually used to actually grow the crops under hoop houses, so in-ground soil chemistry is not a concern.  However, if the landowner wants to grow crops for a community-supported agricultural operation, for example, on a restored Marcellus site, addressing soil compaction and appropriate soil chemistry will be critical. Over large areas, these issues may make such a use infeasible if an owner has economic constraints. However, less intensive crops, such as Christmas trees or blueberries, may thrive on a less restored site with some attention to compaction and soil chemistry.
Landowners may wish to manage the restored area to favor one or more kinds of wildlife. It is important to protect all water sources, including ephemeral ponds, seeps, and springs, if the goal is wildlife use. Some other key points for encouraging wildlife use include protecting conifer groves; retaining a variety of vegetation types, sizes, and ages; and providing openings in the forest with herbaceous plants. See Restoring/Creating Wildlife Habitat and Featured Wildlife Species in this field guide for more information.