You may be surprised to learn that I do not support the Dabob Bay and Devil’s Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area expansion proposed by the JLT. Below is a link to comments submitted by a professional forester (Mike Cronin) to the Department of Natural Resources. I have other objections to the Trust Land Transfer, because it represents a NIMBY attitude. We’re asking the state to reimburse us for Trust Lands which we do not wish to be harvested–that is, we’re asking for a free lunch. I would not be as opposed if we were willing to pay for this local project with local funds, and I was willing to forego income from property on my own property (see below), but Mike does raise some additional concerns.
Here’s the “Forests for the Future” report referenced in Mike’s comments:
In his spare time, Dave runs a forestry business, growing timber for pulp and lumber, though no harvests are planned for the next severalyears. His property is off West Valley Road, 84 acres +/-, and is covered by a conservation easement held by the Jefferson Land Trust. The easement requires that the property be managed “sustainably,” including specifically that it be monitored by an approved organization, in this case the Northwest Natural Resource Group (see our FSC Certificate). At about 40 years old (2025), the forest will be thinned, removing the smaller trees for lumber, and thinned again around 2060. The idea is to speed the transition into old-growth type forest in around 150 years, as opposed to 600 years if left alone. Dave will be cryogenically frozen in 2026, and thawed in 2135 to see how it worked out. The property, as well as 80 acres in the Discovery Bay area, is available for deer hunting in season by prior permission only; contact Dave at 531-1762 to arrange a reservation, as only one party is permitted on each property at a time for safety reasons. No other hunting or access is allowed for liability reasons.
The link below is a nice discussion of how “just letting it grow” can sometimes be forest mismanagement. If you find it interesting, you should consider subscribing to the forest stewardship notes newsletter. For those wishing for in-depth hands-on experience, the WSU Forest Stewardship Coached Planning courses are a terrific way to learn more about local forests and habitat. SWF2010 is an op-ed piece by a local forester about opposition to timber harvest, and the consequences for forests in general, not just in our backyard.
Currently, we are doing some thinning of the acreage, salvaging some of the logs. There is no commercial market for 10 foot lengths of 8-10″ diameter logs, but we mill some into lumber. This can’t be used in home construction, but it’s fine for greenhouses, sheds, animal pens, growboxes, and fences. Instead of payment, we ask you to donate to various 501(c)3 animal shelters (we also directly donate some lumber to these folks). The very small logs—4-6″ diameter—we salvage for firewood. What with the sawmill, we have more sawdust than you can shake a tree at, and if anyone wants it for animal bedding or mulch, we’re open to the same arrangement. There’s also a certain amount of lumber milled from logs purchased off-site, which is for cash sale, and we can custom mill your lumber if you have some logs you want to salvage. Here’s a sample of typical use of lumber: a hot tub deck. Deck