Donate to Bark! Your contribution makes a difference!
Located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Hood NF, the Rocky project is being planned in the area of the 1973 Rocky burn, which occurred over 6,500 acres. The entire burn was salvage logged and replanted shortly after. Also included in this current project are forests upslope which are outside of the original burn, but include valuable timber. The Rock Creek OHV area is spread throughout the Rocky Timber Sale as well. The sale is also within the Grasshopper cattle grazing allotment, which is currently vacant (but rumors of reactivating the allotment exist).
Currently, Forest Service's idea is to plan logging operations in 8,500 acres within the planning area, of which 5,000 acres is the old Rocky burn. Outside the burn there are areas where the agency may propose oak restoration and underburn and other fuels reduction-like projects. Of the 8,000 acres roughly 30% would be commercial logging. The other 70% of the treatments would be more of a chip, pre-commercial thinning or firewood-like treatments.
Bark believes the best way for the Forest Service can begin to restore natural processes at Rocky is to decommission unneeded roads in this vastly over-roaded area. Not only would this activity restore natural hydrologic processes and wildlife connectivity, but it would also reduce the overall risk of human-caused fires.
Rocky includes sections of the Pine Hollow and Juniper Flats Wildfire Urban Interfaces (WUIs), both of which correspond to downslope private residences. Bark is participating in a local Wasco County collaborative group which is discussing this project on a monthly basis. Click here for photos of the Rocky project area.
So far, this project does not include any road-related work, despite the fact that roads in this area pose one of the biggest fire risks.
The Rocky project area includes many miles of roads originally proposed for decommissioning through the agency's Increment 3 road decommissioning project. The Rocky project would require using these roads.
Bark will be pushing the Forest Service to take a hard look at this area's over-sized road system, and look for opportunities to reduce road impacts to the watershed.