If you’re out in the woods and you find a big W painted on a tree, just remember W is for wildlife. When planning and laying out a timber harvest, foresters have to protect the other resources in the forest, including wildlife. In a working forest we use paint to communicate with the loggers. A big W doesn’t just say don’t cut this tree. It also says be careful and protect this tree. Sometimes with sensitive wildlife we will even flag out an exclusion zone to keep equipment away for an important nest of den. Another mitigation is to wait to harvest the trees until the nesting season is over. We call this a limited operating season.
The trees in the picture with the blue painted band around them are the harvest trees.
In this case the W tree was left because it has a large nest in it.
I never know what wildlife I’ll see when I’m out and about, but I can always count on this critter.