|County reveals plans for timber sale in Brightwood posted on 11/01/2018|
The Clackamas County Forest and Timber Management Program
detailed a plan to harvest timber on a 117-acre tract of county land during a
public meeting on Oct. 18 at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort.
The proposed site, named Boomer II after the native mountain
beaver, is located one mile north of Hwy. 26 in Brightwood. A public tour of
the county land was held on Oct. 20 to allow interested parties to observe the
potential harvest area.
The Oct. 18 meeting was led by Clackamas County Forester
Andrew Dobmeier. He was joined by members of the Clackamas County Forest
Advisory Board and the Parks Advisory Board in answering questions and
addressing concerns from the public regarding the proposed logging operation.
“Our focus is on protection of our soil, protection of our
waters and maintaining a good planting site,” said Dobmeier during a
conversation about the county’s approach to the harvest.
The meeting was attended by 15 community members, many of
them Brightwood residents wary of further logging in the area after a
contentious logging operation on private property in 2017 above the Timberline
Local resident Bill Simonds, owner of Welches Mountain
Building Supply and the closest neighbor to the proposed county site, detailed
community complaints about the prior private logging operation but expressed
optimism regarding the county’s plan for Boomer II site adjacent his property.
“I feel 100 percent better about this operation,” said
Simonds while touring the site. “These guys care about the property and want to
do it right.”
Other community members toured the county land to gain
insight into the proposed logging’s impact on the watershed, including a
section of Spring Creek in the southeastern portion of the tract.
“Our concern is sediment; What kind of erosion is being
created,” said Gerald Murphy, member of the Sandy River Watershed Council and
the Clackamas County Planning Commission. Murphy sought to conduct turbidity
testing at the creek to monitor for an increase in sediment load during the
operation. The county plan includes a 20-foot buffer established along the
creek to prevent impact.
“This is Oregon. This is what we do,” said Murphy about the
timber sale. “We just want it done right.”
Other issues raised during the tour included the visual
impact of the site on the community.
“It’s kind of a concern when you pull into Brightwod, is it going
to be right there?” asked Murphy.
The county foresters conducted line of sight measurements
and described Boomer II as only visible along Hwy. 26 for a couple of seconds
in the distant background.
The Boomer II site has been previously harvested and is
currently forested with Douglas fir, hemlock, cedar, alder, maple and
cottonwood, varying in age from 40 to 80 years due to fire and harvesting.
Net proceeds from the harvest of approximately 2,051
thousand board feet (MBF) of timber on 75 acres of the site will fund Clackamas
County park and forest operations. The sale includes 1,500 MBF Douglas-fir, 200
MBF hemlock, 30 MBF cedar and 300 MBF hardwoods.
Dobmeier detailed the county’s plan to actively manage each
portion of the harvest and sale to get the best return for the community and
avoid recent issues with logging in Brightwood.
He stated the county intends to hire an Oregon logging
company that is a member of the Associated Oregon Loggers and follows
sustainable harvesting practice guidelines, as well as oversee the operation to
assure minimal impact on the site and BLM roads.
“If you don’t do what we want, you’re out,” Dobmeier said
about the county’s expectations for the logging companies bidding on the
The county will begin bidding logging companies in November
with the harvest scheduled to begin in January 2019 and end by June 30, 2019.
The logging company is expected to follow Sustained Forest
Initiative practices and adhere to all Oregon Forest Practice Act rules. Other
criteria for obtaining the contract include price, references, equipment and a
timeline that is less disruptive to the community.
An estimated six to 12 loads of logs will be harvested on
average a day, dependent on the operator and the portion of the site being used.
Access to the site is through Mt. Hood Rock Products, and logging hours will be
limited to the quarry’s hours of operation from 6:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The
county also intends to market the timber to mills themselves to bring in more
value for the harvest.
“We want to go to
market our own way,” said Dobmeier about his intention to select certain timber
for potential sale at a higher value as power poles, or in the case of select
maple with figuring, to mills interested in producing for woodworkers.
He explained this as a different approach than a 2015 county
sale to Columbia Vista Corporation, a mill that bought timber on stump and
harvested solely for Douglas-fir while selling the other lumber as pulp. He
stated the county hopes to increase the value of the sale by bringing to market
all available resources and assuring active oversight of the environmental and
community impact of the entire process.
The county intends to replant the site with Douglas-fir,
Western Red Cedar and Western Red Pine. Western Hemlock is expected to seed
naturally. Dobmeier discussed then managing the site with pre-commercial
thinning on an established 50 to 60-year rotation as opposed to a 35 to 40-year
“We’re here for the long run. We want to do it the right way,”
For more information contact County Forester Andrew Dobmeier
at email@example.com or visit www.clackamas.us/forests.
By Benjamin Simpson/MT