Zigzag Timber Sale

 

Comments due August 10th, 2020 on the draft Environmental Assessment. 

Comment Writing Resource page
 

Bark’s Concerns:

The Zigzag Planning Area contains critical habitats for threatened coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead, which have seen huge recovery in recent years after proactive restoration by the USFS. Roadbuilding and logging on steep slopes above this habitat would pose a significant threat to salmon recovery and setback years of costly restoration efforts.

This timber sale would not establish public collaborative process, nor fund any restoration activities in the area through the Forest's Retained Reciepts program. 

These forests attract thousands of visitors annually for cultural practice and free, public recreation. Areas within and surrounding the timber sale (which include the towns of Zigzag, Welches, Government Camp and Rhododendron), will be affected by any potential impacts and closures to areas like Trillium Lake, Ramona Falls, Burnt Lake, Old Maid Flat, Top Spur Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.

Horseshoe Project Area
This project boundary comprises of 46 harvest units within the Upper Sandy subwatershed with approximately X acres of treatments on the western flank of Mt Hood. Elevation in the project area ranges from 3000 feet to approximately 4,500 feet along the Cascade Range. The plant association for this project area is within the Pacific Silver Fir Zone. The over story is predominantly Douglas-fir, Pacific silver-fir, noble fir, and western hemlock. The understory consists of blue huckleberry, salal, and rhododendron.
The soils in the project area have formed in medium-textures glacial till. The till consists of silt to boulder sized material of mixed geological origin. Rock fragments are primarily andesite but some tuffs and breccia may also be present. Precipitation ranges from 85 inches to 115 inches annually.
The area of potential effect (APE) for the Horseshoe project area is within the 6,820 acres of the Upper Sandy River sub-watershed. The APE takes into account all project activities, including yarding systems, harvesting activities, landings, decking, vehicle staging areas, or other activities. The APE falls within the Bull Run Lake and Hickman Butte Quadrangles.

Mud Creek Project Area
This project area is encompasses 56 harvest units within the Salmon River subwatershed with approximately X acres of treatments on the southern foothills of Mt Hood. Elevation in the project area ranges from 2300 feet to approximately 4,600 feet along the Cascade Range. The plant association for this project area is within the Pacific Silver Fir Zone. The over story is predominantly Douglas-fir, Pacific silver-fir, noble fir, mountain hemlock, and western hemlock. The understory consists of blue huckleberry, bear grass, prince’s pine, service berry, and rhododendron.
The soils in the project area have formed in unconsolidated, medium textured glacial till. Materials are of mixed geologic origin. Precipitation ranges from 70 inches to 130 inches annually.
The area of potential effect (APE) for the Mud Creek project area is located within the 9,222 acres of the Salmon River sub-watershed. The APE for the Mud project area is roughly located on the southwest flank of Veda Butte and Eureka Peak west of the Cascade crest and south of Mt Hood. The eastern and southern portion of the project is bounded by the Salmon River. The APE takes into account all project activities, including yarding systems, harvesting activities, landings, decking, vehicle staging areas, or other activities. The APE falls within the Government Camp and Wolf Peak Quadrangles.

Project Status: 
Proposed
General Information
District: 
Zigzag Ranger District
Total Acres: 
2,000.0
Watershed: 

Upper Sandy and Salmon River watersheds

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

There are surveys occurring for rare botanical species, as well as terrestrial mollusk. There is no critical or suitable habitat for northern spotted owls, but there are about 6 historic territories within the project areas and dispersal/foraging habitat exists.

The Horseshoe area is a critical habitat for listed fish: Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead.

Potential trees exist for nests of red tree voles (a protected species which receives a 10-acre buffer if found).

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
2,000.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
297.00
Bark Comments: 

Within the area commercial thinning and precommercial thinning work are proposed on approximately 2,400 acres and 300 acres respectively. There is a 16 acre "regeneration harvest", or clearcut, proposed in the Mud Creek area.

Horseshoe: The Lost Creek tributary in SE corner of area is extremely productive. Unit 6 (plantation) would be accessed by a temp. road which runs through old growth structure. Lolo pass is steep with lots of wet unstable slopes. Many large trees suitable for red tree voles have been found, which will be climbed by USFS surveyors if they are below 3,500 feet in elevation (the known upper range for the species). There is a possibility of moving and expanding the Top Spur trailhead beyond where it is now; it would be placed over an existing landing (to be reused for Unit 61) and receive a better restroom facility. Trees from helicopter logging units would be flown down to Old Maid Flat which would result in a public closure for up to 1 month. Up around Lolo pass, the soils are wet, rocky, and terrain is steep. Units 34 and 40 are examples of relatively flat units which would utilize skyline logging to avoid soil impacts Horseshoe would likely be advertised as one sale: 50% skyline, 25% helicopter, 25% ground based. 

Mud Creek: Units 168, 175, 176, 130, 6, 132, 184, 180, 186, 185, 181 are all "fire origin" stands and are approximately 90-100+ years old. 129 is a proposed “regeneration harvest” using mastication. The area is flatter, with more ground based logging proposed. 85% ground based; 15% skyline. Western white pine blister rust is present and seen as an issue in the ares. "Huckleberry enhancement is a potential opportunity" – no official consultation has been done with the Tribes about this but according to FS, they will be focusing on accessible areas right off the main roads, approx. 51 acres have been identified for this. Cross-country skiing is popular here and there are existing impacts from dispersed camping that need to be addressed.

Timber Sale Names: 

Horseshoe, Mud Creek

Driving Directions: 

Google driving directions to the Horseshoe area can be found here: https://goo.gl/maps/V1uGDpdZebLzq25M7

Google driving directions to the Mud Creek area can be found here: https://goo.gl/maps/yvjkoVWHM1h1NVfA7

Road Comments: 

Horseshoe:  This area spans 1828 and 1825 road networks, and includes several road segments that have been recently decommissioned or identified for decommissioning previously because of their ecological impacts. The 1828-118 road (which accesses the Top Spur trail) would be closed just past where the trailhead is now. There is potential for roadwork/culvert work to be done on the Burnt Lake road.

Mud Creek: This includes the Mud Creek loop road (2656) and spurs just south of Trillium lake. The area is well roaded, but there is still some "temporary" roadbuilding proposed.