A strategic component of Audubon New York’s forest conservation work takes place at Rheinstrom Hill Audubon Center and Sanctuary, located on 1,039 acres in the Hudson Valley. In this pristine corner of Columbia County, Ovenbirds, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Hermit Thrushes, Veeries, Black-and-white Warblers, Blueheaded Vireos, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers thrive. This is the home of the Rheinstrom Hill Forest Demonstration Project, a model demonstration forest Audubon New York is creating under the guidance of a Forest Stewardship Plan. This living classroom serves as a hands-on teaching and training tool for community members, private forest landowners, public forest managers, and consulting foresters. Participants learn essential conservation and stewardship techniques, including sustainable forest management to improve bird habitat, control invasive species, and address the threat of overabundant deer to forest health. Audubon’s forest management practices mimic naturally occurring cycles and help maintain ecological balance. A well-managed forest provides breeding, migrating and over-wintering birds with suitable habitat while maintaining forest health and resiliency in the face of forest pest outbreaks and other stressors.
Long-term forest management efforts are underway at the demonstration project, enabling Audubon New York to deliver even more programs and opportunities for education and training. Our goal is to provide more landowners and managers than ever before the tools and knowledge needed to manage forest lands as birdfriendly habitats.