We sent the May 2018 photo to Patrick Daigle (retired RPF) for his thoughts and suggestions. He sent along this information:
ID TREATMENT AREAS - To help you ID areas for combining fuel removal with eco-restoration, watch for places where there are arbutus and/or Garry oak. These two tree spp ‘tend’ to prefer dry and/or well-drained sites, and S and W (so-called high-energy) aspects. Over decades of fire exclusion, it’s common for Douglas fir to establish and crowd the oak/arbutus trees and compete for light (especially), as well as nutrients and moisture.
In these dry-ish situations, retain the arbutus/oak. Remove Douglas-fir saplings to 1) reduce fuels AND 2) restore sites for the retained oak/arbutus AND 3) initiate understory native plant germination. There is a good chance understory plants will bounce-back because of existing seed bank in the duff/soil. If you encounter large Doug-fir (e.g., >16” diameter), consider leaving them, and pruning any (unlikely) low branches.
We'll continue to add photos to the slideshow as our volunteers work to both FireSmart the area and enhance the forest. :)