VIDEO: Woodcutters: check snag trees for cavities

VIDEO: Woodcutters: check snag trees for cavities

Conservation Northwest / May 09, 2019 / Forest Field Program, National Forests, Protecting Wildlands

“Dead” trees are actually full of life!

Standing dead trees, called snags, provide birds and mammals with shelter to raise young and raptors with unobstructed vantage points. Large downed trees also provide important habitat for wildlife. Hundreds of species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish benefit from snags for food, nesting or shelter!

Produced in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Yakama Nation Fisheries, U.S. Forest Service – Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and Yakima Valley Audubon Society, this video is designed to help educate woodcutters on how to identify cavities in snags so that these animal homes remain on the landscape.

People cutting firewood in many national forest areas, including the USFS Naches Ranger District, are not allowed to cut snags containing cavities or other obvious signs of bird or animal habitation. This video will be shown to woodcutters when obtaining permits at the Naches Ranger District, helping them to look for cavities and leave those snags standing on the landscape.

We understand firewood gathering is often an important activity for campers and others in rural areas, but it’s important to leave big snags and any dead trees with cavities or other visible animal homes standing. And when possible, to gather smaller-diameter dead wood from the forest floor!

Learn more about the ecological value of dead trees on our Snag Trees webpage. Or learn about the rules for firewood gathering on these public lands from the U.S. Forest Service.
Snag trees in northeast Washington’s Columbia Highlands region on the Colville National Forest. Photo: James Johnston.