Clackamas

Are forest fires good for forests?

On my desk at the Bark office is a single Trivial Pursuit card. The Science & Nature question asks: “Are forest fires good for forests? What do you think the answer is?”

If you, like so many millions of Americans, have been brought up with Smokey Bear’s “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” and are accustomed to reading headlines like “Blazing inferno destroys forest”, you may well answer the trivia question “no.”

The logging of Pardner II has nearly finished, but the Forest Service has extended the due date on the project until 2007 to accommodate the owner of the sale. Units are near Solo and the Oak Grove Thin units in the Cloak Project.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
495.0
Watershed: 

Oak Grove Fork

Timber Sale Names: 

Pardner II (378 Acres, 5.071 MMBF, 8916 CCF)
Sold on Jul-08-1998 to Rosboro Lumber
Status: Logging
Drover
Status: Finished
Cowpoke II (117 Acres)
Sold on Nov-12-1998 to Rosboro Lumber Co.
Status: Finished

Restrictions put in place as fire danger levels rise in national forest

Fire levels for the Clackamas and Zigzag Ranger Districts will change from Low to Moderate.

Released in May, 2006, the 2007 Thin has the largest acreage ever proposed for a timber sale in the Clackamas Ranger District. The final Decision Notice of this project has been issued and logging is assumed to be started.

Project Status: 
In Progress
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
4,374.0
Watershed: 

Lower Clackamas, Collawash, Fish Creek

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

T&E Species: Columbia River steelheadUpper Willamette chinookLower Columbia cohoNorthern Spotted Owl
Other Species: Cope 's giant salamander (S and M)Oregon Spotted Frog (S and M)American Peregrin Falcon (S and M)Pacific Fringe-Tailed Bat

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
4,374.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
1 225.00
"Purpose & Need": 

To thin second-growth plantations to achieve multiple objectives. "1. "enhance riparian reserves on 1225 acres in the project area "2. "enhance late-successional reserves on 1237 acres "3. "enhance diversity on 4374 acres "4. "increase health and growth that results in larger wind-firm trees on 2188 acres of matrix "5. "provide forest prodects consistent with the Northwest Forest Plan goal of maintaining the stability of local and regional economies. "

Timber Sale Names: 

Rod, Reel, Pin, Beluga-Orca, Pink

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

Dec 1 to March 31 unless waived. Restricted Units: 2-24, 30, 34, 100-154, 158-178, 208, 210, 212-220, 274-306, 310-326

Driving Directions: 

The 2007 Thin is a difficult project to monitor as it includes many small parts over a large area. The northern part of the proposal lies to the west of Highway 224. At the junction for Road 54, take right. Several units are in the Fish Creek drainage off Road 54. Follow Road 5410 to weave through many of the upper units. Back on Highway 224, head south for approx. 5 miles to reach the junction for Road 4620 to the right. This road meets up with many of the middle units. Near the Ripplebrook Ranger Station is the junction for Road 43 to the right. This road will access many of the roads leading to the lower units of this project. Bringing a map is VERY suggested!

New Road Miles: 
0.50
Temporary Road Miles: 
3.3
Road Comments: 

The 56.6 miles of road closure " only applies to Alternative C in the Preliminary Assessment (PA). Alternative B is the Forest Service 's proposed alternative

The Barstool II timber sale has been logged. 450 year old trees were cut. This is the same type of logging planned for the Solo sale. Barstool II was logged by Thomas Creek Lumber, the same company that is currently logging Borg and plans to log Solo. Bars ATV was logged by Hampton Tree Farms as a replacement volume sale.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
65.0
Watershed: 

Oak Grove Fork

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

T&E Species: NSO 1997 Bi-OpAdjacent to CHU OR-10

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
65.0
"Purpose & Need": 

Improve the scenic quality along road 5810 using Oak Grove WA design recommendations. Increase forest cover and the diversity of native tree and shrub species on degraded streambanks within Riparian Reserves. Restore natural structural diversity provided by large woody debris within stream channels and in adjacent Riparian Reserve acres. Restore soil structure and biological condition by reducing compaction and revegetating plantations with 15 or more area in a detrimental soil condition. Improve the diversity of understory plant communities. Enhance riparian and other resource values within are area formerly used as a rock pit.

Bark Comments: 

Once again, clear-cutting old growth in the Oak Grove.

Timber Sale Names: 

Barstool II (20 Acres, 0.342 MMBF, 617 CCF)
Sold on Apr-07-1999 to Thomas Creek Lumber
Status: Finished
Bars ATV (45 Acres)
Sold on Jan-05-1999 to Hampton Tree Farms Inc.
Status: Finished

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

10/1-6/30 : no ground based. Restricted Units: all but 6
3/1-6/30 : no activity. Restricted Units: 9

Driving Directions: 

Take 224 east past Estacada. Shortly after the Ripplebrook. 224 ends at a fork in the road. Do not take 46 (right) towards Detroit/Bagby. Take 57 to the left towards Timothy Lake. Continue for 7.6 miles take 58 to the left and follow for 1.2 miles before takin 5810 to the right. Follow 5810 for 3.3. miles and take 5810-140 to the right. Follow 5810-140 2.7 miles (past recently logged Bars timber sale) to unit 1 of the Barstool timber sale."

New Road Miles: 
0.30

Sadly, the Batwings Timber Sale was logged. This sale was auctioned to Swanson lumber on 1/17/2003. Batwings clear-cut 109 acres of ancient forest in the already hammered Oak Grove Watershed, and just 15 minutes from the Solo Timber Sale.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
109.0
Watershed: 

Oak Grove Fork

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: red tree voles
T&E Species: NSO CHU OR-10NSO 1997 Bi-Op
Other Species: DeerElkCoyote
Additional Species Info: Possible bobcat scat, deer and elk tracks, woodpecker foraging.

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
109.0
"Purpose & Need": 

The project area is past the culmination of mean annual increment. It has a high level of root disease and mistle toe and does not contribute to an aggregated vegetative pattern. ' Clear-cutting the whole area which is already surrounded by clear-cuts will clearly solve the problem.'

Bark Comments: 

Propose to leave 15 of the understory for green tree retention. How much of the unit is actually affected by root disease and mistletoe? The 109 acre clear-cut is in clear violation of the rule regulating forest openings to 60 acres on the West side and 40 acres on the East side. The FS says it has regional approval to bypass the rule. The sale would be tractor logged with 30 acres in the northeast to be cable logged.

Timber Sale Names: 

Batwings (109 Acres, 2 MMBF, 4025 CCF)
Sold on Jan-17-2003 to Swanson
Status: Finished

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

10/1 - 6/30 : No ground based equipment. Restricted Units: 1
3/1-6/30 : Nothing 1/4 mile of activity center

Driving Directions: 

Take 224 east past Estacada. Follow this road until you get to the Ripplebrook Ranger Station. There is a washout on Rd. 57, so you have to follow a detour to Timothy Lake via Rd 4630 to the left (there will be signs). Stay on 4630 until you reach Rd 57 past the washout, near Harriet Lake. Make a right on 57 and go to Rd 5730 and make a left. Take a right at the junction of 5731 and 5730. Batwings is directly to the SW of that junction.

Temporary Road Miles: 
1.0
Road Comments: 

A temporary road would be constructed along the top of the ridge above the cable logging area and three landings would be needed. This road could also be utilized for tractor logging the remainder of that area. Access to much of the rest of the unit would be provided by existing roads including a system of ripped skid roads in adjacent plantations some of which could be utilized as temporary raods. About one mile of new temporary roads would be constructed within the harvest unit. ' (EA 8) '
Reconstruction Miles: 4.3

We are very sad to report that the Bear (a.k.a Bear II) timber sale has been logged. It 's heartbreaking to have to share this. Seven of the logged units are in Northern spotted owl Critical Habitat.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
207.0
Watershed: 

Hunter, Berry, Cub Creek

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: Corydentris aquae-gelidaeBotrychium montanum
T&E Species: Spotted Owl 1997 Bi-OpSpotted Owl CHU OR-13Peregrine Falcon
Other Species: deer and elkpine martenpileated woodpecker

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
207.0
"Purpose & Need": 

The project area contains stands which are growing slowly are diseased and are exposed to repeated storm events which continually damage trees and blow them down. ' 'The objective of the project is to regenerate stands by removing most of the trees and preparing the site for planting. This conversion would result in young productive stands which are capable of growth commensurate with the site 's potential. ' What this argument states is that old growth forest areas grow slowly. Therefore we should cut older forests down and plant young trees that grow quickly. This values forests only for their use for timber production.On Thinning 'Within the planning area there are some stands of second growth trees that are experiencing a slowing of growth due to overcrowding. Approximately 69 acres of 70 year old natural second growth are currently overstocked. If left unaltered this overstocked condition would result in continued reduction of net annual growth and result in stands with reduced vigor and increased mortality. '

Timber Sale Names: 

Bear II (68 Acres, 3.48 MMBF, 4277.64 CCF)
Sold on Jun-04-2004 to Herbert
Status: Logged
Cub (139 Acres, 4.133 MMBF, 7361 CCF)
Sold on Jan-17-2003 to Freres
Status: Sold, but not logged

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

10/1-7/1 : No ground based. Restricted Units: 3,5,6,7,8,10,12,13,15,18,20,21,22,23,24, 25
4/1-7/1 : road construction, harvesting. Restricted Units: 5
5/15-7/1 : road construction. Restricted Units: 5, 18, 20, 21 25
3/1-7/1 : No harvest operations, road construction, use of motorized equipment or blasting . Restricted Units: 12
3/1-8/15 : No harvest operations, road construction, helicopter flight, or blasting . Restricted Units: 18, 19 and 25

Driving Directions: 

Bear Take 224 past Estacada. At junction of 57 and 46, turn towards 46. Stay left at junction with 63. 3 Options 1) Take a right at 4650//4670. Turn left onto 4670. At junction with 4670/4671 turn left on 4671. 2) Stay on 4670 to junction with 4672, turn left. Units are north and south of junction of 4671 and 4672. 3) Or stay on 46 until junction with 4672, take a left on 4672.Cub Take 46 south. Right on 6350. Units above 6350 to West of 46 and off to the south of 6350.

Road Comments: 

Temporary roads would be built. Portions of road 46 and other haul roads are in need of surface reconstruction.

This sale is a combination of two different logging projects, the Oak Grove thin (mainly located on the Oak Grove fork of the Clackamas) and the Upper Clackamas thin.Bark has decided not to appeal this sale due to the fact that the USFS reduced acreage and reduced road miles per our request. We also wanted to test out the new Stewardship Contracting authorities, which are designed to direct the the proceeds for the sale towards restoration projects on the Forest. We are working with a collaborative group to make this happen and will see what we think after the restoration projects have been accomplished and the logging has been carried out. We 'll then evaluate participating on these projects in the future. Various pieces of this logging project have been sold and logged. Initial monitoring of these logged units has raised a number of concerns such as damaged soils, logged deciduous trees (losing the small amount of diversity present), logged large trees with saved small trees, heavy road construction (1.8 miles of temporary 'roads and 3.4 miles of new roads). On the plus side, the remaining trees do not display the damage typically found after a logging operation. Whether or not this "restoration " stewardship project is appropriate for an area that the forest service plans on clearcutting ( 'even aged management ') is the key question.As found on page 2 of Appendix E for the Cloak logging project the eventual plan for the area appears to be a clearcut. 'Even aged management is the optimal appropriate silvicultural system and commercial thinning is the optimum harvest method for those stands prescribed for treatment because it meets the objectives of the NORTHWEST FOREST PLAN the MT HOOD FOREST PLAN and the recommendations of the UPPER CLACKAMAS LOWERCLACKAMAS and OAK GROVE WATERSHED ANALYSES. These stands have not reached culmination of mean annual increment for fiber production. '

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
1,463.0
Watershed: 

Oak Grove Fork, Upper Clackamas

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
1,463.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
217.00
"Purpose & Need": 

The purpose is to thin young forest stands to 1) increase health and vigor and enhance growth that results in larger wind firm trees 2) enhance forest for deer and elk 3) provide forest products consistent with northwest forest plan goal of maintaining the stability of local and regional economies now and in the future 4) enhance riparian reserves by accelerating the development of mature and late successional stand conditions. Need Second growth stands are experiencing a slowing of growth due to overcrowding. Young stands that once provided high quality forage are becoming crowded, contributing to a trend of declining forage for deer and elk.

Bark Comments: 

Initially the logging projects proposed commercial logging on 307 acres of native forest between the two sales. For the original Oak Grove sale it was proposed to log 699 non-reserve acres and 267 acres of Riparian Reserve (yes, they will be logging Reserves), with 213 acres of clearcuts in scattered 1-3 acre sizes to increase forage within the non-reserve areas and 546 acres of aerial fertilization. For the original Upper Clackamas it was proposed to log 530 acres of non-reserve acres and 165 acres of Riparian Reserves, with 293 acres of clearcuts in scattered 1-3 acre sizes to increase forage within the non-reserve areas, and 460 acres of aerial fertilization. The totals for the combined projects on the EA shifted slightly from the original proposal 1332 acres of non-reserve logging, 217 acres logged in riparian reserves, 545 acres of clearcuts to increase forage for deer and elk within the non-reserve areas, and 1049 acres fertilized. They are planning to have a number of different logging sales (7?) come out of this EA.

Timber Sale Names: 

G (1463 Acres, 16 MMBF, 3662 CCF)
Status: Sold, but not logged
Y (3619 CCF)
Status: Sold, but not logged
P
Status: Post Appeal/Ready to be Auctioned
O
Status: Post Appeal/Ready to be Auctioned
W
Status: Post Appeal/Ready to be Auctioned

Driving Directions: 

There are 6 general groupings of thin units in the Oak Grove Thin. They are somewhat based on the access road used to get to them, though there is some overlap.1) 4640 gives access to roughly nine units.2) 5710 gives access to 7 units.3) 5720-120 gives access to 3 units.4) 4630 gives access to 3 units.5) 5730 gives access to 7 units6) 58/5810 gives access to 5 units7) 5700-120 gives access to 3 units with 2 of those units also accessible from 5710.For Upper Clack Thin Units In a line across the Upper Clack watershed, on either side of the line dividing T6S and T7S

New Road Miles: 
3.40
Temporary Road Miles: 
1.8
Road Comments: 

1.8 miles of temporary roads that will be obliterated when finished (which doesn 't eliminate the road, it just makes undriveable). And additional 3.4 miles of road will be created and added to the permanent system roads these roads will be needed for the planned clearcutting ( even-aged management ") of these units in the future."
Reconstruction Miles: 1

A 2004 Bush administration rule that removed protections for rare plants and animals was later determined illegal by Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court, but not all timber sales affected by the Bush removal of protections have been stopped despite the court ruling. Collawash Thinning is one of the logging projects that may be illegally moving forward without providing protections for rare species required by the court ruling. Stay tuned as Bark is trying to determine how Collawash will be impacted.

As of now, however, our appeal of this project has been denied and logging may begin any time. The Forest Service claims that this is a restoration project, that the logging will "accelerate late-successional stand conditions" and "enhance and/or restore biological diversity." The Collawash/Hot Springs Watershed Analysis (1995) however, describes this watershed as "the most unstable [watershed] within the Mt. Hood National Forest" and prone to erosion and landslides. Sediment build-up could affect endangered fish species that live less than a mile downstream from the project area including Lower Columbia River Steelhead (Threatened), Upper Willamette River Spring Chinook (Threatened), Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon (proposed for a Threatened listing).

Project Status: 
In Progress
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
292.0
Watershed: 

Collawash Watershed

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: pileated woodpeckerpine marten T&E Species: Lower Columbia River Steelhead (Threatened)Upper Willamette River Spring Chinook (Threatened)Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon (proposed for a Threatened listing)Northern spotted owl (Dispersal habitat will be affected threatened) Other Species: deerelk Additional Species Info: From the scoping letter Our timber management planning process has identified approximately 2

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
292.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
88.00
"Purpose & Need": 

According to the Forest Service, the purpose is to 1. Increase health and vigor and enhance growth that results in larger wind firm trees.2. Enhance and/or restore biological diversity by variable density thinning.3. Provide forest products consistent with the NWFP goal of maintaining the stability of local and regional economies now and in the future.4. Enhance riparian reserves by accelerating the development of mature and late-successional stand conditions.

Bark Comments: 

Unit 484 Tree plantation 15-20 yrs surrounded by contiguous forest, previously logged, red cedar stumps. Unit 420 10-25 yr old tree plantation surrounded by mature contiguous never logged forest, 45 degree slope, healthy ground cover, very diverse. Unit 482 tree plantation, mostly doug fir, previously logged, nice soil. Unit 425 High blowdown potential, big stands, very dense in places, younger than other stands

Timber Sale Names: 

Fan Thin (292 Acres, 3.5 MMBF) Sold on Apr-17-2006 Status: Sold, but not logged Thunder Thin #1 Sold on Nov-01-2006 Status: Logging

Driving Directions: 

Along roads 6320, 6321, 6322 and 4620

Temporary Road Miles: 
0.3
Road Comments: 

Road construction will occur at sites less than a mile from streams inhabited by threatened anadromous fish. Reconstruction Miles: 2.7

The Conehead Sale has been canceled! We were expecting an EIS in conjunction with Summit to be prepared.

Project Status: 
Canceled
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
310.0
Watershed: 

Warm Springs

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
310.0
Bark Comments: 

preparing EIS in conjunction with Summit

Timber Sale Names: 

Conehead (310 Acres, 3 MMBF)
Status: Cancelled!

Driving Directions: 

Immediately west of North Pinhead Butte and the Warm Springs Reservation boundary, on 4240-120

New Road Miles: 
2.50

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