Timberhill Book

Timberhill Book

Timberhill Book

Because our Timberhill Oak Savanna restoration has been so successful I am often told that  Bill and I found a unique site with unusually high restoration potential-that what we did here is not possible elsewhere.  That simply isn’t true.  Many overstocked woodlands have the same potential for biodiversity and wildlife habitat as Timberhill.  All they need is management. For example Decatur County, Iowa  has 20,000 acres of highly restorable  savanna remnants.  In eastern Nebraska management at sites such as Indian Cave State Park are producing results similar to those at Timberhill.   Prescribed fire and timber stand improvement in Missouri state parks such as Ha Ha Tonka are also producing high quality results.

Private landowners need not have expertise to manage their woodlands.    Neither Bill nor I did.  But we learned: by trial and error, by following the advice of experts and our own instincts.   How we proceeded and what we learned is described in my book, Timberhill: Chronicle of a Restoration.   It documents how:

  •           We studied  land history documents including General Land Office survey notes, aerial photos, and publications by early botantists  to learn the story of our land and determine what was originally prairie, what woodland, and what wetland.
  •             We worked with our district forester to implement a timber stand improvement plan.
  •             We learned to use prescribed fire and determined the best fire regimen.
  •             Without any seeding the Timberhill plant list increased from 100 to over 460 vascular plants
  •             Management increased bird habitat particularly for the threatened red-headed woodpecker and declining neo-tropical migrants
  •             The ectomycrrohizal fungi increased in abundance and diversity
  •             The natural processes  particularly  hemi-parasitic plants such as wood betony and bastard toadflax are restoring habitat for rare plants

The book is now available from Amazon as an ebook as well as hard copy.


One thought on “Timberhill Book

  1. I loved this book. My family has inherited 100 acres of rolling hills within a few miles of the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. There are a few “wolf trees” and some surviving river oats, prairie dock, and shooting stars. My brother and I have started to bring fire back to the old pastures, and I’m excited by what’s possible in opening up the tree canopy. I was really interested to hear about the improvement in erosion you observed. Thanks.

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