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The original North Fork Mill Creek proposal was part of an evolving effort by the Forest Service to thin The Dalles Watershed and surrounding forests. Bark was part of the collaborative group that submitted recommendations in March 2006, which were considered by the Forest Service in the planning of the project. This project overlapped with the proposed Gibson Prairie Off-Highway Vehicle playground area.
In August 2013, lightning strikes started the Government Flats Complex Fire, which burned several units of the North Fork Mill Creek Timber Sale that were already sold to private companies. About half of these units were already thinned for the purposes of fuels reduction. The logged forest burned just as severely as the untreated stands; in part because of the unpredictable winds and the large amounts of slash left over from the logging operations.
The overall purpose of this new project is to meet the existing contractual and economic obligations within the sales. To do this, the Forest Service is proposing salvage logging in burned stands, along with commercial thinning, hazard tree removal along roads, and replanting desired tree species in burned areas.
Why is this a big deal for the north slope?
What should the Forest Service do? In the event of a fire, the Forest Service has an option to reimburse the company for the area they bid on if the proposed work does not fill the original goal of the project. In this case the original work was supposed to thin the forest – and the fire has effectively done this.
What can you do? Please tell the Forest Service that salvage logging in sensitive post-fire habitat will have negative impacts to species like Northern spotted owls, Lewis’ woodpeckers and White-headed woodpeckers. This type of logging is ecologically unjustifiable and outdated. The Forest Service should drop all units from this project which include salvage logging.
Appy, Buckskin, Clyde, Roan, Eques, and Lokai
Take I-84 East out of Portland - Exit at exit #64 Highway 35, White Salmon and Gov 't Camp - Turn Right, twice, off the exit, following signs for Hwy. 35 South, Gov 't Camp and Mt. Hood - In 0.1 mile, go straight through the 4-way stop, still following Hwy. 35 South - Follow Hwy 35 for 10 miles (note that at 9 miles is a scenic viewpoint turnout on the right (west) side of the road, which makes a good regrouping spot) - at the top of the hill, look for Pine Mont Rd " on the left (east) - Pine Mountain Road is Forest Road 17 (1700) - The Long Prairie junctions of roads 1700, 1710, and 1711 are about 8 miles up road 17 at which point you are in the sale area." The timber sale project area is located north of The Dalles Watershed, east of Road 17 and the Surveyor 's Rdige trail, out to the eastern and northern forest boundaries