Create healthy forest in Lostine
Some of the comments by the environmental groups concerning the Lostine River Corridor Safety Project would be laughable if they were not so wrong.
For example, four million board feet is not a major timber sale. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Tussock moth epidemic and large fires killed most of the trees over large acres of private and public timberland. In both of these catastrophic events, dead trees were sold, logged and hauled to various mills and the acres were planted.
As the stands grew, they were precommercially thinned and later commercially thinned creating a healthy stand that can be managed for many years into the future.
Another example was the Hells Canyon Preservation Council. At the last stop on a recent field tour, an over- mature stand of Grand Fir, they were asked how they wanted this to be treated. As I have noticed at previous meetings and tours, they did not have an answer other than they would have to consult their people.
My vision for the area was to remove most of the dead, dying and down trees to reduce fuel levels. Then plant a mixture of Doug Fir, Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch. This would create a healthy forest that would provide hiding cover and grazing for the elk.
Maybe it is time to think about adjusting the Equal Access to Justice Act that pays the attorneys who always prevail at the Ninth Circuit Court $192.68 per hour.
I wonder who will feel responsible when both sides of the canyon turn black. The canyon will in time recover from the fire, but the tourists and the fire fighters and their family’s may not.
Garten is a retired forester.