Friday, November 26, 2010

Wood Chopperers and Haulerers Needed

Jake Anderson sends along an invite to help cut up downed trees in Woodland Park this Sunday, November 28th beginning at 8 AM.

The conceptual designs of a parking lot at Woodland Park is featured under the 8.10.10 Packet & Minutes.

Volunteers will get to take home the firewood for free (except for the sweat equity).

Think eight of the clock in the ante meridiem is too dang early? Me too. Come by anytime in the morning and help out.

The Monona Parks and Recreation Department is looking for volunteers on Sunday, November 28th starting at 8:00 am to help clear branches and cut the downed trees at Woodland Park into free firewood. We need people that have chainsaws to cut the wood into firewood and people to help haul the wood.

Jake Anderson, alder Scott Munson, yours truly, and other likely suspects (including an anonymous former alder now in the witness protection program) will be on hand. Brings your hands and join in.


Your questions anticipated & answered: What the? and why the?

Why not just leave the downed trees in the park? Wouldn't that be more natural?

Not all trees are created equal. These are not trees that just fell down. The city has been cutting down the black locusts mainly and some other invasives that take over and outcompete the oak trees. Removing the invasive trees is part of the effort to restore the park to an oak savanna/oak woodland.

Read the 2006 the Woodland Park ecological evaluation and restoration plan.
"OK, I get why you cuts the trees down, but why not just leave them in situ?" 
There is a lot of this downed timber and that makes us very uneasy about continuing to do the annual prescribed burns in the park that help keep down the other invasives. Oak trees need fire. Many of theses trees have been cut in the past year (including this past summer). Too much fuel left on the ground would burn for a long, long time.
Did you know this area used to be predominantly prairie, including oak savanna?

From WDNR: Data created by Robert W. Finley - 1976 Professor of Geography Emeritus, University of Wisconsin Center System. Digital Data prepared by Maribeth Milner, and Steve Ventura UW-Madison. Wisconsin Transverse Mercator NAD83(91). Map created by Nina Janicki, 1999, DNR GIS Services Section. This data layer is included in DVGISlib, a part of the DNRView extension to ArcView. DNRView makes it easier to use and share DNR geographic data. Trained ArcView users can obtain DNRView from the appropriate regional contact listed in the "GIS" Datasharing" section. The data on this map are available on a cost of resources basis from WDNR, GIS Services Section. See the "GIS Datasharing" section. Visit

This map was distributed in the Ecological Landscapes handbook.

Thanks to former alder Peter McKeever for raising these questions (the guy always has been a professional trouble maker), so we could provide answers before knickers become knotted.


  1. That downed wood is habitat and a natural forest process. It should be left in place unless blocking a path.

  2. Come on out on Sunday, have a look, and hear answers from people more qualified than me.

    I note again that these trees were cut down. They did not fall down naturally. There *is* plenty of downed wood from trees that did die naturally and will continue to provide habitat.

  3. Is it BYOC? (Bring Your Own Chainsaw?)

  4. "Is it BYOC? (Bring Your Own Chainsaw?)"

    If you have one, you can bring it, but it's not required at all. If you know how to use one, you can take a turn to spell others. Or you can tote the wood.

    There are two kind of people in this world. Those that run the chainsaw and those that haul the wood.

    Well, also those that watch the others and count (as in, "how much wood can doug Wood chuck?"), so that makes three kinds of people.

    Wait, four kinds; there's also the types that stay home and get vicarious wood-cutting pleasure from reading about the cutting, hauling, and watching deeds of others.

    No, no, at least five, five kinds of people - add those that are nursing a Badger hangover and don't really want to hear chainsaws.

  5. Doug-what is this I hear that Parks and Rec is thinking about putting a parking lot in the woodland park area.
    I would have some serious concerns about it.

  6. I thought I had posted about this item before, but a quick search didn't find it. Yes, Jake Anderson has a plan to put a *small* parking lot on the Monona Drive frontage near Dave's Jamaican with access through their parking lot (would need an easement from them).

    A trailhead with an informational kiosk could be included.

    But let me emphasize *small*.

  7. The conceptual design of parking lots at Woodland Park is featured under the 8.10.10 Packet & Minutes.