Vegetation Removal, Mound Stabilization, & Rehabilitation at Osotouy
Vegetation at Menard-Hodges Mounds (Osotouy) should reflect the prehistoric appearance of grass covered mounds surrounded by open agricultural fields and dense hardwood forests. This appearance will be achieved by removing the overgrown, dense hardwood forest on the mounds and within the plaza, and reintroduce native grasses in these areas. The heavily vegetated mounds are experiencing slumping and erosion due to the sheer weight of the trees. The possibility of wind thrown trees is a great concern. Overturned trees can pull up large chunks of soil with the root system causing damage to cultural deposits. Root penetration of trees and scrub can also have a significant impact on archeological deposits.
This project proposes to remove the existing dense vegetation via a certified arborists who specializes in removing trees with ropes and rigging so that no cultural or archeological features are disturbed. Rigging is invaluable in this project because tree-falling is not possible due do the sensitive nature of the landscape. Using this technique, trees will be cut in small sections starting at the top of the tree and will be lowered via a roping system to a staging area away from the mounds. The stumps will be flush cut and left in place to decay over time. All heavy equipment will be mobilized on ground protecting mats to avoid any disturbance to cultural features.
A layer of chalk 1-2 inches thick will be placed on the mound before any voids are fill with dirt to delineate any cultural resources from modern fill. The mounds and plaza will then be seeded with native grasses to stabilize the soil and re-establish the historic setting. Prescribed fire will be implemented to maintain the native grasses and manage invasive species.
Kirby McCallie (870) 548-2210