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Management Plan for Bridgeoporus nobilissimus

Harter Creek Site

Sweet Home Ranger District

Willamette National Forest

Updated: 16 March 2007

Bridgeoporus nobilissimus is a fungus that inhabits Abies species, most notably A. procera (noble fir). The fruiting body is a distinctive perennial conk that can grow to a large size and has a tawny, hairy upper surface. Conks occur on the lower bole of live or dead trees, including stumps. This species is on the list of survey and manage species under category A in the Northwest Forest Plan: conduct predisturbance surveys and manage known sites (USDA, USDI 2001) and on Oregon Natural Heritage Plan List 1: threatened or endangered throughout its range (ONHP 2004). Common names for Bridgeoporus nobilissimus include Noble Polypore and Fuzzy Sandozi. Management recommendations for this species include preparation of a site-specific management plan for known populations (Castellano and O’Dell, 1997).

Location and Access:
The Harter Creek population of Bridgeoporus nobilissimus is located in the South Santiam Watershed, on the Sweet Home Ranger District, Willamette National Forest, in Linn County Oregon. Two sites have been found in the vicinity of Harter Creek and they are separated by a mile of private land; these sites are considered one population in this document. Refer to sighting report (Attachment 1) for further instruction on reaching the conks from this point. Other than Highway 20, all the roads on this route are gravel, one lane roads and are blocked by snow in the winter and spring. Access is not restricted through the private lands en route.

Specific location and access information has been omitted from this version of the document.

Site Description and Management History:
The site in Section 22, from here on referred to as the Upper Harter Creek site, is located at 4200 feet elevation on the north side of a ridge dividing two subwatersheds. The aspect of the site is generally northeast (350 degrees to 100 degrees), and slopes vary from 20-60%. The plant association is Abies amabilis/Tierella trifoliata. The herb layer is abundant in places and sparse in others; it consists primarily of Polystichum munitum, Asarum caudatum, Cornus canadensis, Pteridium aquilinum, and Rubus ursinus. Shrubs include Rubus parvifolius and Acer circinatum.
The conks are located on three large-diameter noble fir stumps in plantations. Two of the three stumps are in a stand that was clearcut in 1957 as part of the Harter Mountain timber sale. The stand was broadcast burned the same year and precommercially thinned in 1986. The third stump is located in a stand clearcut in 1969 as part of the Harter Mountain Leave timber sale. Records indicate it was broadcast burned the same year. The stand was precommercially thinned in 1989. Both stands are now composed of Douglas-fir, noble fir, and western hemlock. The Vegis numbers of the stands are 300XXXX and 300XXXX.
The site in Section 20, from here on referred to as the Lower Harter Creek site, contains three additional conks. These are also located on large-diameter noble fir stumps in plantations. Elevation is 3150' at one conk and 3500' at the other two, which are found on the same stump; aspect is west at the lower site and north at the higher. The plant association is Tsuga heterphylla/Mahonia nervosa at the lower site and Abies amabilis/Rhododendron macrophyllum-Vaccinium alaskaense/Cornus canadensis at the higher.
These stands were clearcut in 1950 and 1952, respectfully. Both were broadcast burned in 1952. The lower stand was precommercially thinned in 1991 and fertilized the same year. The upper stand was precommercially thinned in 1983 and fertilized twice, once in 1985 and again in 1991. The stands consist primarily of Douglas-fir with scattered noble fir. The Vegis numbers of the stands are 300XXXX and 300XXXX.
The entire population is located on land designated as Matrix. All of the conks in this population were found as a result of surveying the Sheep Soda Thin Timber Sale. Two of the conks were found in proposed units; sections of the units were dropped to protect the conks and associated stumps.

Population Description:
The Upper Harter Creek site consists of five conks on three stumps. The three stumps are each greater than four feet in diameter. All the conks in the population are located on the downhill side of the stumps, on either the east or north side. One of the conks is quite large and measures approximately three feet across.
The Lower Harter Creek site consists of three conks on two stumps. One conk is located on top of a stump and measures 23 inches across. The other two conks are located on the same stump; one is at the base and may have broken off the stump from a higher position; it is 20 inches across; a very small conk has recently emerged from a root extending from the stump. Both of the host stumps are about four feet in diameter.
Monitoring of these sites in 2006 has revealed one conk at each site had died and one additional conk had emerged on a previously unoccupied stump.

Management Objectives:
The goal of this management plan is to provide direction for ensuring the long-term viability of the Harter Creek Bridgeoporus nobilissimus by maintaining habitat conditions, minimizing disturbance to the host stumps, and using silvicultural practices to develop large diameter noble fir that can serve as a host in the future.

Management Guidelines:

1. All Bridgeoporus nobilissimus conks will be protected from management activitiy. The district botanist will evaluate activities that could result in disturbance to the conks or host stumps, either through direct physical damage, or changes in microsite characteristics. This includes any habitat disturbing project, including timber sales and related activity, precommercial thinning, fertilization, other TSI projects, and special forest product sales.

2. Fertilization can accelerate the rate of decomposition of suitable stumps and snags (Castellano 2001) and should not occur in these stands, nor in adjacent stands that contain suitably large noble fir stumps.
3. The presence and growth of noble fir within occupied stands should be enhanced through standard silvicultural methods, including planting, selective thinning, and girdling of other tree species.
4. Old-growth stands with suitable habitat within two miles of the site have been surveyed for this species. There are approximately 700 acres of old-growth forest surrounding the populations.

5. Work with Cascade Timber Consulting for permission to survey additional habitat occurring on their lands near the site, and to protect conks if they are found.

6. Monitor the known sites annually to detect major environmental changes, animal damage to host stumps and conks and illegal conk collection.
7. Additional surveys for Bridgeoporus nobilissimus should be conducted every five years in the vicinity of the population in order to detect newly emerging conks.

Castellano, M.A. 2001. Pacific Northwest Research Station. Personal communication.
Castellano, M.A. and T. O’Dell. 1997. Management Recommendations for Survey and Manage Fungi, Version 2.0
Hibler, C. and T. E. O’Dell. 1998. Survey Protocals for Bridgeoporus (=Oxyporus) nobilissimus Fungi, Version 2.0.
Oregon Natural Heritage Program. 2004. Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants and Animals of Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program. Portland, Oregon.
USDA Forest Service. 2002. Field Guide to the Forested Plant Association of the Westside Central Cascades on Northwest Oregon. R6-NR-ECOL-TP-02-02. Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, Oregon

USDA, USDI. 1994. Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines for Management of Habitat for Late-Successional and Old-Growth Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl. Portland, Oregon.

USDA, USDI. 2001. Record of Decision and Standards and Guidelines for Amendments to the Survey and Manage, Protection Buffer, and Other Mitigation Measures Standards and Guidelines. Portland, Oregon.

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