Northstar completed 56 acres of ski area improvements during Summer 2011 implementing Northstar Habitat Management Plan design guidelines and construction management practices.
Project Components Included:
Design & Construction Practices Included the Following:
Ski runs were sited to reduce trail grading and disturbance. To minimize ski run grading impacts and earth disturbance, the resort implemented "pluck and chuck" methodology which identified spot areas on the ski runs requiring treatment (slope undulations, rocks, stumps). Only areas identified for treatment were disturbed by excavation. The remainder of the ski runs were left undisturbed with the soil profile in place and the ski run surface stabilized by woody material from mastication and chipping operations.
Tree removal was performed with a wheeled timber harvester, a wheeled timber forwarder, and a wheeled timber forwarder with a rear-mounted chipper. Utilizing this equipment minimized tree removal disturbance as skid roads were nearly eliminated along with the associated compaction and soil disturbance resulting from skidding. The equipment enabled the trees to be cut and either hauled offsite or chipped onsite. Non-merchantable material was left chipped on the ski runs or log landings for use in revegetation and erosion control.
Full revegetation treatments were performed on compacted and disturbed areas. Treatments included incorporating woodchips into the soil during the soil loosening process. Soil was loosened to a depth of approximately 12" to promote infiltration. Biosol fertilizer, seed, and mulch were then applied to the disturbed area by hand or hydraulic application. Through soil loosening and woodchip application, the ski run surface was left with woody debris and a rough surface of undulations which functions to slow and interrupt water flow thereby preventing soil erosion and promoting infiltration of water during a runoff event.
Wildlife pre-construction surveys were performed prior to project operations to avoid direct impacts to wildlife species.