The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is a group of forest defenders committed to protecting the habitat of rare species associated with old growth and late-successional forests. NEST enforces environmental protections built into the Northwest Forest Plan (NWP) by finding species listed in on the Survey and Manage list. One of the species that we survey is the red tree vole. The red tree vole is a small arboreal rodent that lives in the tops of Douglas firs and feeds on its needles. It makes its nest from the discarded interior of the needle, which is called a resin duct. We document the presence of this animal by finding its nest and reporting it to the responsible agency (usually the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management). Put simply, under the Northwest Forest Plan, documented red tree vole sites get roughly 10 acres of protection. Our documentation of this species has led to the protection of hundreds of acres of old growth forest in about a dozen timber sales. Our surveys have also been instrumental in court cases resulting in federal injunctions.
This summer N.E.S.T. has found 30 red tree vole nests at the Trapper timber sale in the WIllamette National Forest and now 35 nests at the Tennesse Lime, Anderson West and East Fork timber sales in the Illinois Valley.
N.E.S.T. is effective forest defense with proven results. Our work has even piqued the interest of famed spotted owl researcher Dr. Eric Forsman and his graduate student who are now researching the red tree vole. Our work out at trapper is now incorporated into thier research data.
N.E.S.T. Needs volunteers!
NEST needs volunteers of all kinds. Although previous climbing experience is great, it's not necessary as we can train you in less than a week to climb trees and locate nests. There are also other plants and animals on the ground that can be looked for as well. A typical NEST camp is composed of 5 to 10 persons. We spend about two weeks at each timber sale moving from unit to unit looking for the presence of protected species in the canopy and on the ground. Equipment and food is provided as we get donations from a variety of Eugene businesses. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and whatever else you might need to make a two-week stay in the forest enjoyable. Besides locating protected species, we encounter all kinds of wildlife and get to see some of the most beautiful endangered ecosystems that Cascadia (the pacific northwest) has to offer.
Contact Josh for rides and more information thombanjo AT riseup.net or call at 541 688 2600
- e-mail:: thombanjo at riseup.net