Every council with camp properties has the responsibility (and cost) of proper stewardship of the land. Ideally, this stewardship not only enhances the property for the use of our girls, but also sets up a future stable income stream.
We use a registered forester to manage all our properties because of their expertise and ability to deal in the complex world of tree farming. Several years ago, I was told that our trees at Camp Sid would bring some money when we needed it because we had some hardwoods there that are desirable. Since the cookie program did not reap the desired results this year, I called our forester about doing some selective thinning of the trees.
Our forester called back to say that what he thought were some select hardwoods are really slash pines, which are not productive as a revenue stream. Rather than leave this property and not turn it into a revenue stream for the girls, we will likely be doing a clear cut of the exterior 69 acres of the property; this is the part that lies outside or to the right of the road. With the income reaped from the clear cut, we will replant and get that 69 acres into production. Another facet of that project will be thinning the property to the left of the road, so there isn't a lot of fuel if a fire would break out. Thus, this makes that part of the property more usable by girls.
A few years from now, as the planted trees become larger, we will reduce the trees on the left side of the road and put that part of the property into production. We have done this same thing at Camp Humming Hills. The trees up there are about three years old and they are now 5-7 feet tall. This has not impeded troops from using the property. By doing part of the property, then later doing the other part, you always have trees at different facets of maturity, since wind and storms can level an entire forest. This insulates the property from loss.
This is rather short notice for intensive property work, but there are some timber companies eager for this type of work, so we will capitalize on that, working to reap the most for the girls of this council. As we look down the road, we need to find additional revenue streams to insulate from the ups and downs of the cookie program, which is our largest source of income each year.